BFC announces plans for co-ed platform, calls off next London Fashion Week Men’s
Almost one month after its rivals in Milan and Paris cancelled their menswear and couture runway seasons set for this summer, the British Fashion Council has announced it is going ahead with its June season - albeit in a co-ed digital format.
The BFC, UK fashion’s ruling body, also revealed that “for next 12 months” all of the London Fashion Weeks will become co-ed seasons staged on one gender-neutral platform. Meaning that London Fashion Week: Men’s will cease to exist for the next year at least. The BFC called this a move “to allow designers greater flexibility.”
The immediate effect is that the the next London Fashion Week Men’s season, originally scheduled for the weekend of June 12-14, will be rebranded as a “digital-only platform in light of the current environment,” the organisation said in a release Tuesday.
Back on March 28, both the Camera della Moda and the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, respectively the governing fashion bodies in Italy and in France, announced the postponements their next menswear seasons and the Paris haute couture runway season this summer. While the Council of Fashion Designers of America also annulled its summer season, as the three organisations reacted in tandem to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the BFC has taken a different tack by going ahead with a rebranded platform, www.londonfashionweek.co.uk, designed for both trade and consumer audiences; and meant to embrace the cultural commentary, creativity and humorous spirit of London.
However, so far, the BFC has not listed which designers or brands will participate in the June season in London. Instead, it merely stressed that the season’s goal would be to allow British fashion businesses and creative to tap into London’s cultural zeitgeist and highlight its position as a global multi-cultural city. “Bringing the fashion community together, the platform will host exclusive multimedia content from designers, creatives, artists and brand partners, enabling collaboration and bringing together fashion, culture and technology,” the BFC added.
The BFC's long-term goal is to maintain four runway seasons in London – in January, February, June and September – however, it remains to be seen if the September season will have any live runway formats with audiences present.
“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate. Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture,” commented Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive.
“The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity and product that you value, respect, cherish. By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future. Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucket loads. It is what British fashion is known for,” Rush added.
Among the facilities to be deployed will be interviews, podcasts, designer diaries, webinars and digital showrooms, aimed at generating sales.
The BFC is also linking up with brands like Amazon Launchpad, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Joor, Ordre/Orb360 and YouTube, to develop content in unique ways. While its longstanding brand partners British GQ, Evening Standard, JD.com, inc, Lavazza, LetsBab, Mercedes-Benz, The May Fair Hotel and Toni&Guy, have reaffirmed their support for the June season.
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