While the baton of fashion shows has gone on to Milan (tomorrow, September 23, 2020, the actual start with Fendi, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana and Blumarine), (yet another) news potentially disruptive arrives. Balenciaga wants to overturn its fashion presentation program. The brand of the Kering group therefore joins Gucci in wanting to revolutionise the timing and methods of fashion shows. Creative director Demna Gvasalia announced it in an interview to WWD: “The show itself has followed fashion rules for decades. I feel the need to do it differently so that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience. Obviously, also for professionals”. But for Gvasalia, the target of the Balenciaga Revolution “is people who buy what I do”.
The first change is structural. As already announced, the maison returns to couture after 52 years from the latest collection, created by founder Cristóbal Balenciaga. The haute couture line, postponed to next January due to Covid-19, will be featured in a fashion show only once a year and will also include men’s proposals. “Couture is something special – Gvasalia explained to WWD -. We need to learn again to be patient about special things. By exhibiting once a year, there is enough time to do something really special and to develop something that is not easy to copy. Only this way it can be true couture”.
Not only Fashion Week
The exhibition moment, for Balenciaga, must therefore be completely rethought. For example, in Paris the brand will bring to the “classic” fashion weeks only pre-collections, while the main proposals will be presented in June and December, with ad hoc events. The goal is to reach a wider audience, not just the 700 guests who usually (including journalists, retailers and celebrities) take part in the show.
Do less and do it better
In the end, Balenciaga will put the product at the centre of the scene, including the Merchandising Department within the Creative Office. And it will prefer the use of green materials, joining the supporters of sustainable fashion that avoids production excesses. “Do less and do it better” is the brand’s motto that we could paraphrase in: “Do it better and show it less”.
Pictured: on the left, Demna Gvasalia (from kering.com); on the right, a leather garment by the brand (from balenciaga.com)