What is happening to the traditional catwalk show?

By Jo Phillips

In a world dominated by technology, people want everything immediately, and the times are a-changing, that’s for sure. Both Burberry and Tom Ford have announced today new plans that breach the gap between catwalk shows and consumer experience, truly conceding to the immediacy of modern life. Beginning in September, the brands will present their collections at the start of the respective seasons, coinciding with the availability of the collections to the public both in stores and online.
This is quite different from the traditional set up, in which brands show collections a season beforehand, giving buyers a chance to stock up department stores and press the option to spread news before shoppers can get at the collections. The shoppers normally would have to wait about four months between a brand’s presentation and stores, but with this new format, they would only need to wait a matter of minutes.
Additionally, Burberry will cut down from four to two shows a year, and the semi-annual shows will include both womenswear and menswear collections.


Christopher Bailey of Burberry explained that this innovation is just the next stop in an evolving creative process, while Tom Ford sees today’s becoming more immediate and feels that a system that requires consumers to wait months at a time to shop a collection does not make sense.
Here at Cent, we’ve been considering transformations in catwalk shows since our last issue. Amongst other things, our filmed interview with head buyer Natalie Kingham of Matches Fashion considers the progression of catwalk shows and how the phenomenon has already moving into the future.

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