Designers Defy Omicron: Paris Fashion Week Gets Back On the CatWalk

Digital catwalks can not replace the real ones! Fashion Houses crave real, physical shows and many of them will come with their latest collection into "the real world" during the Paris Fashion Week.

Paris Fashion Week starts on Tuesday. Though France is hit by the fifth wave of the pandemic, the industry is determined to get back on the catwalks after almost two years of online shows and sales.

Most fashion houses are planning live shows as the menswear week is about to start, followed immediately by haute couture shows. 17 of the 76 brands of the official Paris menswear calendar,  including giants like Dior, Hermes, and Rick Owens will be back on the catwalk while the remaining 52 labels will show using a mixture of digital streams and physical presentations.

30 fashion houses out of these 52, including Courreges and Issey Miyake, are planning less formal presentations and in-person events to which they invited journalists, influencers, and buyers.

Paris Fashion Week - Real Shows And Digital Will Mix

Louis Vuitton will be on the catwalk with two parades on Thursday to present the latest collection signed by Virgil Abloh. The popular millennial designer and the first black stylist to head a luxury home died of cancer in November at the age of 41.

A lot of interest surrounds the Japanese label Kenzo this month, too. The collection to be presented to the public will be the first since the brand appointed streetwear visionary Nigo as artistic director.

Haute Couture designers will be also returning to the catwalk, with 18 of 29 houses planning live shows.

On the other hand, Giorgio Armani canceled his menswear show in Milan and haute couture show in Paris over the latest surge in Covid cases.  

This was not a surprise since the 87-year-old Italian maestro was first to cancel his catwalk shows in the early days of the pandemic in February 2020.

Pascal Morand, head of France's Federation for Haute Couture and Fashion, said the federation makes several recommendations including the use of FFP2 masks, but he was happy to see brands returning to the live shows.

"We have learned to live with the virus," he told AFP. "Digital enriches the physical, but it can't replace the emotion and sensory side of the runway shows."

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