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Men’s Fashion Week and Couture Week Are Canceled in Paris

Chanel, Spring 2020, Couture

Chanel Spring 2020 Couture Show. Photo:

Those hoping for a return to fashion normalcy this summer will have to wait a little longer. French fashion’s governing body, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, has officially canceled the upcoming men’s and couture fashion weeks. The spring 2021 men’s shows were originally scheduled for June 23 to 28; couture would have taken place several days later from July 5 to July 9. The Camera Nazionale della Moda, which oversees Italian fashion, has also just postponed its slate of men’s shows from June 19 to 23; they will now take place alongside its womenswear week in September. The CFDA is also advising American designers to not show Resort 2021 collections in May and June and has postponed its menswear week.

In a release sent to the fashion industry, France’s Fédération writes, “In light of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic worldwide, strong decisions are required to ensure the safety and health of houses, their employees, and everyone working in our industry.” While a cancellation of both weeks seems a wise choice amid the spread of the coronavirus—men’s and couture bring thousands of designers, models, editors, stylists, buyers, photographers, and other industry professionals to Paris—hope is not lost for the spring 2021 men’s and fall 2020 couture collections. “The Fédération is actively working with its members on possible alternatives,” the release concludes.

The Camera Nazionale della Moda also promises new ways of exhibiting fashion. “We are working on new digital formats and new ways of encounter, in order to create a new storytelling on the days originally scheduled for the Milan Men’s Fashion Week: B2B and B2C platforms for the benefit of brands, luxury companies, and all the other players in the fashion industry,” reads a release from the group.

Some of those alternatives could be digital fashion shows or virtual showrooms. The Camera Nazionale della Moda acknowledges that for many of its menswear designers, production has already started—or in some cases completed—for the spring 2021 shows, promising that its 800 Milan showrooms will help support sales during Milan’s market week at the end of June. Pitti Uomo has promised a similar virtual showroom to accompany its early June fair. As yet, Florence’s Pitti Uomo and London Fashion Week: Men’s, both of which are slated for the beginning of June, are still scheduled to take place. Still, the cancellation of menswear’s biggest weeks and the couture shows will cast a pall over the fashion industry, which is just one of many that has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under precautions currently in place around the world, designers are struggling to produce collections, and projections for retail and luxury spending are not looking promising. In response, Vogue and the CFDA founded A Common Thread to raise funds for American fashion industry workers impacted by the crisis. Whether or not there are proper catwalks this June and July, we are staying optimistic that fashion’s show will go on.

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