Acclaimed Meets Novelty: First Digital Fashion Week in Paris

An event that needs no introduction; Paris Fashion Week. This three day event plays a large role in yearly fashion influencing. This time around, things shaped up to be a little different. Inadvertently, the pandemic is changing the way we do fashion.

A digital production replaces the quintessential ‘catwalk’ runway. Time and place seem to be forgotten during an all virtual show.

Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture collection

We note that Paris Fashion Week initially launched in 1973, and never strayed away from its platform until recently. We narrow down on the details of what it takes to make a digital fashion week successful. 

For men’s SS21 looks, the first digital fashion week was produced by the French Federation of Couture on Jul 9-13, showcasing the entire collection through an online format. A purely interactive experience, curated exclusively for the consumer, allows for more participation among the audience and, by proxy, access to marketing data which is collected to learn about the consumer.

Runway 2.0

We’ve seen that through collaboration with fashion houses, creative directors, filmmakers, and design experts, a fully digital runway takes a lot to pull off. Could this be the new runway 2.0 of the future? Seemingly, it works. 
Some of the world’s top fashion houses are also following suit digitally – Dior being among them. Let’s take a look at the top contenders and their approach to normalizing digital fashion week. Haute Couture Fashion week in Paris launched their Fall 2020 looks in a digital format. These were the results:

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2020 collection


The Autumn-Winter 2020-2021 collection was presented as a storytelling video, produced by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone. In his work, the creative director wanted to feature miniature doll-size versions of each new garment. A short film, if you will, pays homage to French theatre in 1945. They set the scene in a mythical, whimsical backdrop surrounded by greenery and nature: A cinematic experience for fashion adorers.

Dolce & Gabbana 

Each year, this fashion house orchestrates its annual ‘Alta Moda’ collection in a subdued vacation spot in Italy. Designer Stefano Gabbana wanted to go digital yet still capture the essence of a true Italian summer. 


Chanel goes “rock coco” in its digital iteration of their new collection. Inspired by the late Karl Lagerfeld, the collection features 80s inspired frills and metals, with a twist on 18th century dresses, iconic to Lagerfeld’s designs.

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2020 Haute Couture Collection

Viktor & Rolf

Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf present us with an unassuming yet fascinating lineup of nine looks – all with an unexpected twist. Each piece embodies a representation of our mindset towards the present times. They pulled inspiration from bathrobes, and even put together a jacket that offers social distancing functionality (think spikes). 

The pandemic is changing the way we present, produce, create, learn, and experience. One of the things that are affected is the fashion runway as we know it. Now anyone can enjoy that front row view from their screens.