LONDON — Copenhagen Fashion Week has confirmed its decision to go ahead with its spring 2021 showcase this August.
The event will go ahead on Aug. 9 and run through Aug. 12, a week later than originally scheduled.
The decision, which was taken alongside some of the event’s key trade show partners such as CIFF and Revolver, was based on the early easing of lockdown measures in Denmark.
“We’re fortunate that the Danish society is opening up much more quickly than expected, making it possible for us to hold Copenhagen Fashion Week very close to the originally scheduled dates. All of our activities will be set up to meet applicable regulatory requirements,” said Cecilie Thorsmark, chief executive officer of Copenhagen Fashion Week.
“We’ve received immense support from the Scandinavian fashion industry, as Copenhagen Fashion Week continues to be an important and much-needed platform for the industry’s sales, exports and international collaborations. Maintaining the dates in the beginning of August is a decisive advantage for them,” she added.
The schedule of participating designers is still to be confirmed, but some of the city’s buzzy labels, including Stine Goya, have said they will be opting out of hosting physical fashion shows in order to shift their focus to restructuring and exploring new means of communication.
Even though the shows are going ahead, the organization will still invest in developing a digital platform to connect brands with buyers and press and allow them to share content.
Thorsmark has been putting together a digital advisory board with executives from the likes of Stine Goya, Ganni, Holzweiler and Swedish Hope joining in to help determine the shape and form of the digital platform.
“What’s most important is that what we develop aligns with the needs of the industry,” said Thorsmark, who earlier this year made waves in the industry by setting an ambitious sustainability plan for Copenhagen Fashion Week and pledging to start incorporating sustainability requirements for brands participating in the event, as well as helping them get there.
Trade shows have also been investing further in digital solutions, with Revolver planning to debut digital showrooms for the upcoming season, to facilitate buyers that might not be able to travel and also allow the ones who will be attending in person to be able to do better research and planning ahead of their trip.
The digital iteration of the showroom was created in partnership with the online sales platform Traede.
“For Revolver, it is just as important to maintain and develop the physical trade show and fashion week as it is to develop new relevant digital solutions,” said Christian Maibom, Revolver’s founder and creative director, adding that every participating brand will get access to the online platform and encouraged to work across both physical and digital mediums.
“This is said in the belief that neither the physical fair nor the digital solution can stand alone. We are absolutely convinced that the physical trade show and the meeting between people and collections have never been more important. Sure, something can be done digitally, but the challenges we’re facing as an industry right now cannot be solved by individual heroes, videoconferences and e-mails alone,” Maibom added.
Thorsmark also sees a continuing need for physical shows and fashion week to bring back a dose of energy and joy in the industry, but foresees a different, perhaps more low key, approach to the show format.
“We still need to be creative, we need fashion design to thrive and give us aspirations and dreams. But everything will be different. We won’t be seeing brands investing several hundreds of thousands of euros in a show or presentation. Going back to our sustainability strategy, this actually aligns with our thoughts on how to shape a sustainable industry,” she said, adding that sustainability is becoming an even bigger priority for Danish labels now and Copenhagen Fashion Week is still very much on track with the goals it set out in January.
The organization has also been selected as a semifinalist for the European Union competition “Reimagine Fashion” for its sustainability requirements plan — a prize that involved more than 700 entries this year and is run by the European Commission.
“It’s one thing to set sustainability requirements in Copenhagen, but there’s also the potential for them to be scaled and implemented in other fashion weeks, or to engage other global leaders,” Thorsmark added.