Vivienne Westwood Forgoes Runway Show, Favoring Digital Alternatives

Vivienne Westwood Forgoes Runway Show, Favoring Digital Alternatives
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Citing the environmental costs of runway shows, the British designer instead showcased her new collection in a video released online

Matt Vitone
  • 11 january 2018

Vivienne Westwood, the legendary fashion designer and a long outspoken advocate on political and environmental issues, revealed her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection during London Fashion Week Men’s with a different tactic. For the first time in 35 years, not a single model breezed down the runway amid the shuttering of camera lenses and buzzing excitement of attendees. Instead, the British fashion house released a three-minute video online in lieu of its usual show.

Entitled “Don’t Get Killed,” the film, which launched this week across the brand’s digital platforms, showcases the collection through a political lens, with models discussing how they relate to the idea of empowerment as members of Westwood’s “army.” As the designer herself describes in the film, the collection “has got a theme of war running through it,” tying into a series of playing cards with bold political designs, which she says were printed in order “to save the whole world.”

The new digital approach is not a one-time stunt either, but rather a permanent change the designer says is due to the environmental costs related to presenting seasonal runway shows. The move comes at a time when designers and fashion houses are re-thinking the meaning of the runway show in the digital age, with many opting for “see-now, buy-now” strategies that put the clothing into the hands of customers immediately. Others, such as London designers Marios Schwab and Matthew Williamson, have opted out of fashion week altogether, choosing instead to operate on an appointment-only basis through their showrooms.

“We’re looking forward to showing our winter collection, which instead of a catwalk, we will present through the form of film and imagery, so you can get a good look at it and love it as much as we do,” said Westwood in a statement, who explained that the switch was in part driven by her mantra to help consumers “buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood, the legendary fashion designer and a long outspoken advocate on political and environmental issues, revealed her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection during London Fashion Week Men’s with a different tactic. For the first time in 35 years, not a single model breezed down the runway amid the shuttering of camera lenses and buzzing excitement of attendees. Instead, the British fashion house released a three-minute video online in lieu of its usual show.

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