Fashion Week season has just ended, and people are still buzzing about new collections. However, it seems like every year more and more people are asking: are fashion shows even still important? While they were once the fastest way to show designs to a large group of people, giving buyers and influencers the chance to plan the next season’s stock and stories, in today’s connected age, anyone can see the designs with a click of a button. Is it really worth spending the money on an event, when emailing a lookbook would have the same effect? While it may be tempting to ditch the tents, there are a few positives to the traditional fashion show that shouldn’t be ignored.
Today, fashion shows serve as more of a branding experience than just a way to demonstrate merchandise. They feature more than clothes: it’s a way to express what kind of overall aesthetic and values your brand favors. Designers can tell a story on the runway much more distinctly than in a few photographs.
Fashion Week is also beneficial when it comes to networking. The presence of so many people in the industry in one area, whether they’re buyers, designers, journalists, or tastemakers, is invaluable. There are plenty of connections to be made at after parties or outside the tents with potential buyers, press connections, and more. Perhaps even more importantly, you can quickly get a feel for what people are thinking about this season’s trends and the state of the industry as a whole.
The publicity also doesn’t hurt! Shows of new collections are still covered extensively in the press – if the only mention of your brand is that a young starlet was spotted in the first row, it builds name recognition. Even if Fashion Week is just a place to see and be seen, having a presence means that others are looking. While it may seem costly to spend all that money on a twenty-minute event, the intangible benefits of fashion shows are still very much relevant in today’s fashion climate.