Τhe Givenchy fashion show during the NYFW, held on the anniversary of September 11 had “love” as its main moto. The show held was open for the public, for the first time, offering 1.200 tickets to people totally outside the fashion industry.
Either this initiative was due to Tisci’s teenage dream “for everyone to be able to attend a fashion show, one day”, or it was a symbolic gesture inspired by the date of the show, it rose many discussions about a main question: “Should fashion shows be open to the public?”.
The exclusive attendance of people with great influence in the international media, customers, buyers, investors and celebrities on the fashion shows, may be justified by practical, mainly, reasons, such as the issue of capacity, which makes it impossible to fit a huge and indefinite number of people into a specially adapted for the needs of each show building. The idea of a show taking place outside, as the Givenchy one, though, gives, certainly, a new perspective. But, it was also the elitistic perception of fashion and luxury fashion brands-even if it has started receding- that created a gap between the public and the brand. The biggest and most luxury fashion brands were, till these days, inherent in this perception, showing their new collections just to a few people, who could, also, afford the extremely high prices. In such way they excluded from their target group, the general public.
But, nowadays, even most luxury fashion houses have reduced their prices, naming Chanel as an example, which has reduced its prices up to 50%. This is, probably, a method to start addressing to a more general public, as a result of the prevailing new circumstances in the fashion industry. That’s why, in our days, the way they are advertised has changed a lot: an advertisement in a bus station, or in an alternative magazine may serve them commercially, equally with a media connected with luxury. The Internet-which brings more and higher profits- is, also, used by fashion bloggers, people who may not be known to the creative director of each brand, but they are icons and have a big influence on their community, meaning the activate consumers. And since the larger firms’ strategy itself has changed and adapted to the new era, with a view to a direct contact with the public, why does the show of every new collection have to remain addressing to people who are networked in fashion and media, excluding such individuals with significant influence?
Under these circumstances and with profitability always in mind, fashion brands should “open” their shows to the public, in order to accomplish their purpose: to get themselves and their products closer to the international general public.
*Words by Georgia Trapali