IS RUNWAY DEAD?

by Jeremy Danté

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“to be honest, i don’t care about shows anymore”, i said. after a whirlwind season. running from venue to venue, with a personal driver and running with two models on each arm. the name of the game in today’s ever changing market is making an undeniable shift. the internet has no doubt impacted visual industries in more ways than one, as consumers expectations for real time products and goods is at an all-time high. with rapid release elements like fast fashion and live streams all being a thing of today- i’ve been feeling, and discussing with those around me; how much of a chore runway appears to be these days. with social media now at the forefront, brands and designers alike have been taking alternative pathways to presentations and showings of collections. with live stream, or runway film replacing the traditional format, is runway over?

talk of in-season collections was reviewed by the french fashion council and denied, but the american fashion council is looking to make alterations to adjust to consumer needs and market behaviors. with fast fashion retailers like zara and H&M churning out trends faster than the speed of light, the content we see on the catwalk seers right past us, as we find ourselves looking for the next thing far too quickly. one has to question whether fashion is over saturating its own market. even the victoria’s secret fashion show, a staple of american runway; though more commercial and conceptual than wearable, reportedly had it’s lowest ratings in 2015. with celebrity soaking up the fashion stratosphere more actively than ever- girls like kendall jenner, gigi hadid and zoe kravitz- audiences are tired.

there are many reports which outline that this trend is rising throughout fashion; tom ford opted out of shows this season, designers like azzedine alia never show, and burberry has even trying to reinvigorate their runway shows with offering selected designs immediately for purchase. options to replace shows have been seen in the form of fashion films, pre-shot look books- and each option is significantly less to fund. shows used to be a focus of attention for fashion insiders- editors and buyers exclusively. shows are a media circus these days, and seating arrangements are more strategy for PR than anything else. in private conversations with editors, producers and model’s as well- everyone rolls their eyes waiting for the madness to be over. as monetarily important as these moments are for all of us during these seasons- the industry is changing.

runway will likely never die, it will just evolve more aggressively. for designers on the come up, the more financially modest options work in their favor. much like people thinking radio would fade with television, or magazines would vanish with websites- all formats are still in existence today. maybe not as successfully as some may have predicted; but this is the name of the game in our modern times. we’re just being given more access to more content, at a much more rapid pace. i’ll be following these developments and can speak to the emotion that shows are boring and redundant, and appear to be losing steam and creativity. this, i’ve spoken on for the past several years. let’s see what the artists of the industry create to redefine what runway means, and how to serve our now accelerated expectations.

view a full study here conducted by the CFDA
regarding the decline in runway popularity

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