Is the world ready for the physical fashion shows?

Jacquemus staged the first physical show in France since the Covid-19 pandemic, and others are ready to follow.

Jacquemus and Alexandre de Betak, founder of fashion show production company Bureau Betak, went hunting after the lockdown to find the perfect location, echoing the designer’s previous social media-perfect lavender fields event with the wheatfields of a local farmer who held off harvesting for them. The result this time was a 600-metre-long runway framed by golden yellow wheat that the 100 guests — who received a bag containing a mask, hydroalcoholic gel and water — amply instagrammed.

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“We had to do it, our company is all about fashion shows, the impact of the shows cannot be compared with a beautiful film or a lookbook,” says Simon Porte Jacquemus of his Spring/Summer 2021 show called L’Amour.

For Jacquemus, who declined to reveal the investment behind the show, it was important to do it now. “We’re an independent company so we cannot skip a season,” Jacquemus explains. “My teams cannot prepare the next collection in two months. So from a human and strategic point of view, we had to show in June or July. We weren’t necessarily ready as we got back from lockdown in May but it was important.”

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And he continued “When a restaurant reopens to serve meals, they are doing their job. I am doing my job here, we’re not just having fun, it’s not my ego,” he says. “If I don’t show my silhouettes, am I going to sell them? Am I going to be able to keep my 80 employees? We cannot afford to wait until it’s cool to do shows again.”

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In a historical moment when all the majority of the industry reverts to digital events or takes a pause, Jacquemus had the courage to organize the first physical show after the lockdown, a decision that pays off in terms of visibility but very a risky one. And he did it the the most unique, beautiful, inspiring and full of love ways ever.

This isn’t a one-off ‘Covid edition’ but a new way to do fashion week. This is the kick-start of something new.

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