The Fédération de la Couture et de la Mode, the governing body of French fashion, has created two dedicated new platforms to present this July’s haute couture and menswear seasons in Paris. And, in an unprecedented step, the Fédération also announced on Monday that it had inked a series of deals with YouTube, Google, Instagram and Facebook for the upcoming digital seasons.
An association of several score of major league fashion houses – including the likes of Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Yves Saint Laurent – the Fédération also revealed that it had signed a partnership with Launchmetrics to develop the new digital hub, to feature the upcoming seasons. As noted, the haute couture season will be held from July 6 to 8, while the menswear season will run from July 9 to 13.
The three-day couture season opens with Schiaparelli at 10am on Monday morning and ends with Valentino at 6pm on Wednesday. Encompassing 33 houses, the season will feature slots with practically all the major Paris-based couture houses – Chanel, Dior, Giambattista Valli. On top of that, key non-French couturiers are all planning displays – Elie Saab, Viktor&Rolf, Ralph&Russo and Iris van Herpen, among others.
However, Givenchy, which recently named a new creative director, Matthew Williams, will be absent, while the debut of a guest designer at Jean Paul Gaultier, Sacai’s Chitose Abe, has been delayed until next January.
Given the added and novel complications of staging the first French digital seasons, many people are expecting a somewhat byzantine process – with open-access to many events, and gated resources for others. Editors have already begun receiving emails from major global brands notifying them of needed passwords to the unveiling of various online events.
The end-goal of the new platforms is to open the doors to a far larger global audience, while also restricting access to key industry events to acknowledged professionals. The Fédération has set up a partnership with Hylink, the largest independent digital communication agency from China, to cooperate with the most important Chinese social networks.
The two seasons are widely expected to be highly experimental – and will include viral videos; “backstage” interviews; behind-the-scenes footage; commentary and debates.
An online magazine, created in cooperation with a fashion school primarily targeted at management, the Institut Français de la Mode, will “bring together additional content (interviews, making of, ideas, zooms) supplied by houses, stakeholder cultural institutions, media and other contributors,” according to a release from the Fédération.
Moreover, the organization promised a series of events (conferences, conversations, concerts, cultural visits…), which will be organized by different houses and partners. Once again, some of these events will be reserved for professionals.
In a related move, Sphère, the Federation’s professional showroom dedicated to young brands, will also be held online and will be specifically hosted on the Paris Fashion Week Menswear online platform. Sphère has developed partnerships with the B2B sales platform Le New Black and with Grand Shooting, processing images and ensuring quality for each participating house.
“We’re now at the height of the digital revolution, which has only been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. The digitization of Fashion Week will never replace in-person events but it will largely enrich and amplify creative expression and communication,” said Pascal Morand, Executive President of the Fédération, in a release from Launchmetrics.
Besides social networks, the Fédération has established a partnership with Canal +, which will create an events channel for Paris fashion with a subscription-free digital corner. It has also partnered with The New York Times to broadcast the videos from the two events’ official calendar in a dedicated space on the daily’s website.
Finally, the Fédération said it expects contributions from a whole slew of media and cultural organizations, including Paris’ Radio Nova, one of the Federation’s partners; the Musée du Louvre; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, and Théâtre du Châtelet.
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