Gucci announces plans to cut back to 2 fashion shows a year as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the luxury fashion industry

Gucci

Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele plotted out a new plan for the brand in a series of diary entries, which were shared on Gucci’s Instagram account over the weekend. 

Michele said that he would “abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence.”

“We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story,” he said. “Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms.

“I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words.”

His moves to take the brand in a new direction seem to be directly connected to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reflecting on this period in an earlier post, Michele said: “Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was. Because the greatest risk, for our tomorrow, is abdicating our responsibility for a true and necessary discontinuity. Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing.”

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the luxury fashion industry, forcing brands to close stores and cancel shows. Because of this, some brands are now rethinking their strategies for the future and shifting in a new direction. 

Saint Laurent, which is also owned by Kering, said in April that it had made the decision to opt-out of the fashion show schedule for the rest of the year and would take control of its own schedule. 

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour commented on the impact of the pandemic in a recent interview with CNBC and said that it was giving the industry a moment to reflect.

“I think everybody is rethinking what fashion stands for, what it means, what it should be,” she said. “I think it is an opportunity for everyone to slow down, produce less, and make the world fall over in love with the creativity and passion of fashion, and maybe have less of an emphasis on things moving so quickly and emphasis always on what’s new.

She added: “Fashion should last, it should be emotional, it should have memories, it should be meaningful, and think that we need to reevaluate – all of us that work in this industry – how we can best present that.”

These sentiments were echoed in Michele’s early diary entries: 

“I am fully realizing though, that this possibility to tell cannot be constrained by the tyranny of speed,” he said. “Now we know that too furious was our doing, too insidious was our ride. In this renewed awareness, I feel the need of a different time, released from other-imposed deadlines that risk to humiliate creativity.

“That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être.”

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