NEW WAYS OF THINKING: Antonio Berardi is saying goodbye to the runways of London Fashion Week, where he has long been a fixture, and plans to stage intimate salon shows to be hosted in different cities around the world.
He will kick off his new program with a salon show at his newly opened studio in Milan in February. Berardi said he wants to “recalibrate” the way he communicates his work after showing in a catwalk format since 1995.
“I want to tailor the experience in the same way that I cut my clothes. [I want] that feeling of ‘up close and personal,’ seeing things as they were intended in 360 degrees. Most of all, [I want] my customer, the press and buyers to have a moment to see the craft and intricacies that are part of my DNA,” said the designer.
“Social media allows me to take an ‘always-on’ approach to my collection wherever I am in the world — broadcasting my clothes throughout the year, rather than in two 10-minute bursts; taking content produced in the most intimate and exclusive of environments, whilst ensuring it is also inclusive and brings my audience closer than ever to the clothes.”
Events in the U.S., Middle East and across Europe will follow the one in Milan. They won’t necessarily stick to the traditional fashion calendar, but will instead take place throughout the year to support different collections.
Berardi is not the first to be taking a step back from the catwalk in favor of a more personal format. Earlier this month, Victoria Beckham announced that she plans to showcase her fall 2018 range via “intimate presentations” at the James Burden Mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
She’s doing it partly to mark her 10th anniversary in business, and said the format recalls the early appointments she held in New York when she first launched the collection.
Creatures of the Wind is opting to stage special projects rather than runway shows while designers including Anya Hindmarch, Mother of Pearl and Mulberry are all favoring see-now-buy-now events where they can engage consumers and the industry.
Mulberry is set to showcase its spring 2018 see-now-buy-now collection with an event on Feb. 18 during London Fashion Week. The show will be open to consumers. The brand also plans to preview its fall 2018 range to press and buyers in Paris on March 1.
Hindmarch is replacing her elaborate London Fashion Week spectacles with creative “happenings” that will coincide with product launches on the shop floor and allow the consumer to “engage with the brand’s creativity on and offline.”