In Brief

Gucci announces major changes to its runway schedule

Rome

26 May 2020

“We need new oxygen to allow this complex system to be reborn,” argued Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, as he hosted a video conference from his studio in Rome.

Yesterday, Michele announced that Gucci would change the way in which it shows, reducing its annual number of runway presentations from five to two.

Michele also said that he would like to challenge the distinction between and menswear and womenswear, as well as the traditional system of autumn/winter and spring/summer.

Michele said that lockdown had had afforded him “time — time I have never had before to think about my work, my creativity, our future, the future of the company.” He added that the current formulation of the fashion industry meant that his “creativity was being jeopardised.”

While Michele provided few concrete details of how his proposed changes would be enacted, he said that he believed that spring and autumn remained suitable times for Gucci's two remaining shows, although he did not specify whether these presentations would be physical or digital.

Michele said that showing in September 2020 would likely be impossible, but said that on 17 July, during Milan's digital fashion week, Gucci would show what would have been its upcoming cruise collection.

The announcement from Gucci is a high-profile example of more widespread calls to reform fashion during the pandemic. The advocacy group Global Fashion Agenda has argued that brands must “re-evaluate the lexicon of fashion and, by default, its entire system of operations”, while the BFC and CFDA industry bodies have collaborated on a statement of their “steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level.”

Gucci's move is mirrored in those already announced by other studios – Saint Laurent has said that it will not follow the fashion schedule t his year, while Dries Van Noten has said he will not show until 2021 – but it is notable for its commitment to a permanent change. While Michele's comments are, at present, open-ended, they seem to commit the brand to the elimination of lavish cruise collection presentations if nothing else.