Burberry is going ahead with a runway show this September — though it won’t be like those of years past. The presentation of the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which the brand describes as “an immersive show experience set in the British Outdoors,” is scheduled for September 17, a day before the start of the London Fashion Week. But it will only be attended by the models and the Burberry team, and otherwise streamed digitally “for all” who’d like to watch.
“As humans, we have always had a deep affinity to nature. We have had to respect and rely upon its power for our very existence, whilst marvelling and revelling in its extraordinary beauty,” Burberry’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci said in a press release of the outdoor event. “Especially recently, we have all yearned to reconnect again and for this show, I wanted to celebrate these feelings by bringing our community together in a creative experience that takes place within the beautiful, natural landscape of Britain.” Like the last two Burberry runway shows, the experience will be certified carbon neutral.
The British company is the first major brand to confirm a runway show for the Spring/Summer 2021 season. Since the pandemic began, many cities like Shanghai and Sydney have canceled their respective fashion weeks, while others like London turned its June showcase into a digital event. On the other side of this, fashion week mainstay brands, like Gucci and Michael Kors, have abandoned the fashion week calendar altogether this forthcoming season.
“I felt that through this concept, we could open new spaces to our community around the world and give everyone the opportunity to experience it together,” Tisci told WWD of the digital component. “As most people are unable to travel, it was important for me to create a space where anybody would be able to engage with, and immerse themselves in the show experience. I am so excited for everybody to be involved.”
The news is prompting the question if other brands will follow suit with a physical-digital format for the Spring/Summer 2021 fashion month. While the official plans for fashion week events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris have not yet been announced, it’s safe to assume that it will be an unconventional season, with many more digital events, as well as social distancing measures and precautions like masks for attendees — if there will be attendees at all.