Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing is re-thinking the future of fashion shows amid the coronavirus crisis.
The French designer participated in a virtual chat alongside Chloe’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Balenciaga chief executive officer Cedric Charbit as part of Vogue’s Global Conversations series on Wednesday, with much of the discussion focused around the number of events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping much of the world.
But while Rousteing remains adamant that fashion shows still have a place in the industry, he is contemplating a much more democratic format.
“I completely agree on the side that we need to have an experience,” the 34-year-old commented. “I know that after this confinement, I want to create something in the streets, I want to bring back the togetherness, for sure.”
And even though many of Balmain’s 10 million Instagram followers watch his spectacles online, Rousteing is also considering how he can better tap into his digital audience going forward.
“I don’t see digital as less emotional; I see digital as an experience where you can push your dreams to the next level,” he insisted, before noting that the tradition fashion show has already been altered by the introduction of social media. “Emotions are changing… Before people were clapping, now people are Instagramming, which is another kind of emotion. I’m sure that in the future that we can find a way with illustration, with digital, to bring that kind of emotion.”
Elsewhere in the discussion, Ramsay-Levi insisted that she will continue to hold fashion shows to present her Chloe collections, though will be looking at how they can become “more inclusive” for fans.
“We must be aware that the audience is mostly digital, but I won’t kill the shows. The shows are a beautiful moment,” she stated. “Fashion shows are special events, I believe. They are here to inspire and engage conversation – and they have a meaning and they must feel authentic. There’s a human dimension to it which I’m very keen to keep.”
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