versace is the latest brand to rethink fashion week
As major houses choose films, events, and even ballets over fashion week, Versace will “try something new” and focus on the power of the red carpet.
This year, the Paris couture spring lineup will be missing one of its biggest names. Versace has announced it will not be holding its usual opening night show, rather opting to host a number of international "major client events" across several cities. Clearly inspired by the shifting culture around fashion week, the Italian label's reasoning echoes decisions made by other houses, increasingly aware of the workload and stress entangled with the traditional schedule. Versace chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd explained to the New York Times, "At the moment, we do six shows a year, and my feeling is: That's a lot of shows." He continued "we all know the model is changing quite a lot, so why not take the opportunity to try something new?"
He was quick to stress that the move was about energy, not cost: "The investment has not changed; the atelier is the same size." Interestingly, he pointed out that in the current online-media landscape, couture might not be best presented on the runway. The label noted that much of their couture coverage comes from dressing celebrities on the red carpet. Although it's worth noting the brand has previously broken with the couture schedule between 2004 and 2012.
Versace has always nurtured close relationships with celebrities, counting Madonna, Lady Gaga, M.I.A, and Gigi Hadid as house muses. In a world dominated by Instagram and Snapchat, the reach offered by a star wearing your brand is unrivaled by traditional fashion week coverage. At last week's Golden Globe Awards Naomi Campbell, Reese Witherspoon, and Blake Lively were all dressed by the label — between them they boast over 25 million Instagram followers. Blake Lively's post thanking Versace for her gown attracted over 800k likes 2.8k comments alone.
For now the chief executive hasn't offered any thoughts on the brand's approach to couture long-term, but it doesn't look like we'll be seeing Versace return to the schedule in the near future.
Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Instagram