Atelier Versace won’t be hosting a show during Spring 2017 Couture Week in Paris, The New York Times reports. In lieu of a runway presentation, the brand will instead hold “major client events” during the year in various cities around the world, including Hong Kong and New York, chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd announced.
By sitting out couture, the brand will hold six shows a year instead of eight. (It’s also skipping the fall couture shows, which usually take place in July.) “At the moment, we do six shows a year, and my feeling is: That’s a lot of shows. Eight, if you count couture, seems excessive,” Akeroyd told NYT. “And we all know the model is changing quite a lot, so why not take the opportunity to try something new?”
The announcement comes not long after other brands revealed changes to their own fashion week schedules. Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Kenzo, for example, are combining their men’s and women’s runway shows starting this year. And earlier in 2016, numerous designers from Rebecca Minkoff to Ralph Lauren decided to adopt the see now, buy now format.
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Akeroyd assures that Versace’s schedule change, although cost-effective, was not caused by budget issues. Instead, it was caused by stress and the pressure to stay relevant. “It’s the time and intensity of producing a show. The investment has not changed; the atelier is the same size,” he told the paper.
This, however, does not mark the first time Versace has skipped shows—the atelier previously had a couture hiatus from 2004 to 2012. Sitting out of fashion week will likely not hurt the brand’s popularity either, since dressing stars in made-to-order looks on the red carpet gets just as much coverage as a private fashion show, if not more, Akeroyd said. This point may spark a separate debate, on whether the red carpet might soon replace the runway.
Versace will return to the runway in February with women’s ready-to-wear presentations.
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From: Harper’s BAZAAR US