Models Are Strutting the Runway Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases

By Rua Dinm
Business Fashion Editor/Writer

(Photo courtesy of

Fashion week is one of the most anticipated weeks of all time. Unfortunately, this year the anticipation was not only in excitement for the new collections but whether it will be happening or not. Since March, the fashion industry has faced quite a few challenges, but everyone was hoping to redeem their losses during fashion week. However, Coronavirus had other plans. It goes without saying, but designers and labels all around the world rose above it. Paris, London, Milan, and New York got creative in their means to showcase the collections designed during the quarantine.

Starting from September 28th, 2020, until October 6th, 2020, Paris Fashion Week is moving forward with twenty in-person fashion shows. In the last few weeks, there has been a surge in coronavirus cases in France. Therefore, restrictions regarding health and safety have also tightened. These regulations will of course reflect during the fashion shows, besides, the already enforced regulations such as social distancing and travel bans for the U.S., Brazil, and other high-risk countries. Interestingly, countries have also voluntarily dropped their participation invitations due to a rise in cases and or budget cuts.

Meanwhile, in London, similar procedures for fashion week are being taken. London has always had innovative themes for its runway. Thus, a lot of brands such as Burberry have been experimenting with the technology. The brand used Twitch, a platform commonly used by gamers is now being explored by the fashion industry. The label held a live show in the woods and had an audience of about forty-three people. However, the most popular approach in London has been small intimate gatherings with exclusive invitations along with short films and other media visuals.

Surprisingly, Milan has had more in-person fashion shows. Labels such as Fendi, Max Mara, Etro, Valentino, and twenty others participated in these in-person fashion shows, while forty others were digital. Maschino may have been the most in line with Coronavirus regulations, as the creative director decided to replace models with puppets. However, Jeremy Scott makes it clear as he said, “As much as I loved working with the marionettes, and as proud as I am of this show … I do miss working with real models and that energy and the energy of having a real audience and everyone gathered together,” he said in a video interview. “And I hope very soon I can do that in person again.” Surely, all creative directors, designers, and brands feel the same way.

Last but not the least, New York also took the runway with outdoor, socially distant fashion shows. Granted, crowds usually consisted of 30 people sitting very far from each other, designers still managed to wow the audience. Just like Paris, Milan, and London, New York also took the approach of utilizing digital platforms. American labels primarily used influencer marketing on Tiktok by starting a hashtag of #TiktokFashionMonth which was deemed fairly successful.

This pandemic has changed the means of many business practices in various industries. The fashion industry is no different. Several questions such as will the digital fashion shows become the new normal? Will this decrease the demand for models? Will we need symmetrical “perfect” models, if a computer can already mass generate them? While several communities are going through terrible atrocities, many are asking what is the point of fashion week at the moment? Especially since luxury fashion brands are going through overstocked inventories and disinterest from their usual customers. Nonetheless, the show must go on as it is.


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