PR Coverage

The (catwalk) show is dead, long live the show

With Paris Fashion Week closing another season of fashion shows earlier this month, Forward3D CEO Martin McNulty reviews the impact of the digital age on catwalk shows for The Drum.

In trying to harness the instantaneous commercial potential of digital and social channels, I believe the world of luxury fashion is starting to make compromises with the boldness of the designs it is sending down runways. In years gone by, high fashion catwalk shows were genuinely exclusive invitation-only events, where only those on the list were trusted to disseminate news of the latest collections to the world. Pictures of the most outlandish designs would occasionally crop up in the papers to help add to the sense of innovation and mystique surrounding these shows.

Today, the currency of now is ‘shoppable runways’, ‘live streamed shows’, ‘consumer-led shows’, ‘snap-chatters’ and ‘chat-bots’, allowing just about anyone to access and review each collection instantly, much of which will be available to buy right away. Where once we had style authoritarians like Grace Coddington to pass judgement on collections, we now have celebrities wielding follower-based influence to feed their own popularity (and income). They aren’t style makers, they’re self-promoters.