- Title: With no paparazzis or parties, Paris prepares for virtual fashion week
- Date: 4th July 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - JANUARY 20, 2020) (REUTERS) GRECIAN INSPIRED TULLE GOWN IN DIOR HAUTE COUTURE SHOW VARIOUS MODELS IN FINAL WALK IN DIOR HAUTE COUTURE SHOW PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - JANUARY 21, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MODELS IN FINAL WALK IN CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE SHOW IN GRAND PALAIS, WITH A CLOISTER GARDEN-INSPIRED SET
- Embargoed: 18th July 2020 11:38
- Keywords: Paris Stephane Rolland fashion week haute couture limousine luxury
- Location: PARIS, NANTERRE, FRANCE/ INTERNET
- City: PARIS, NANTERRE, FRANCE/ INTERNET
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Fashion
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLE80UF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Paris is usually abuzz during its prestigious Haute Couture presentations in July, with hotels normally heaving with fashionistas and landmarks turned into catwalk venues.
But in a makeover triggered by the coronavirus crisis, top designers will instead be experimenting next week with online showcases to try and keep clients hooked.
Brands from Christian Dior to Chanel are pressing ahead with collections and shows, through an organised schedule of videos running from July 6-8.
That has helped keep some textile suppliers and artisans going, though other businesses are feeling the absence of a larger event keenly.
"The impact of a virtual fashion week on our business is serious, because there are no more clients to drive around," said Guillaume Connan, whose limousine company Chabe usually ferries A-listers around between shows.
One of Chabe's chauffeurs, Hachim Safouane said he will feel the void, not having VIPs to pick up at the airport and take to the show venues like the Grand Palais.
"Paris without fashion week is not the Paris of fashion," Safouane said.
Paris' multiple fashion weeks generate some 1.2 billion Euros for the local economy every year, the federation grouping couture houses estimates.
At the Haute Couture week, a select club of designers display of one-of-a-kind, handmade outfits.
"I will miss the audience, I will miss my friends. Because if I do all my shows, it's also to bring emotion. And I love that...and those shows are made for that," said couturier Stephane Rolland.
But Christophe Josse, another French couturier who also produced a film, said he had enjoyed being able to highlight the intricacies of his designs differently and would consider doing it again.
"This is also the big question mark, what will happen with the clients, how will they catch on," said Josse said, whose clients include wealthy Americans who would normally travel to a show.
Physical catwalk displays are likely to be back on the agenda in Paris by September and brands were already booking venues, said Frederic Hocquard, who oversees tourism and some cultural affairs at Paris' city council.
"The Fashion Weeks keep Paris's economy running...it's also a great window that shows Paris's image to the world. that must not be replaced and cannot just be replaced as such," he said.
He added that the hiatus this time could have some positive side effects, despite the economic hit - including as an inspiration for greener formats in future, which would not generate as much congestion or waste.
(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Clotaire Achi, Melodie Sforza)
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