Another day, another major fashion industry change and there’s a seismic shift going on in the way fashion is presented to us. Just yesterday, Gucci is the latest luxury brand to jump on board announcing that ithey will combine men’s and women’s runway shows into a single presentation, beginning with the Fall 2017 collections. The news was released by Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri at the New York Times International Luxury Conference in Versailles, with Bizzarri explaining, “Alessandro Michele has in fact always presented his men’s and women’s collections together, so this is a very natural progression. Moving to one show each season will significantly help to simplify many aspects of our business. Maintaining two separate, disconnected calendars has been a result of tradition rather than practicality.”
Gucci isn't the only brand aligning its womenswear and menswear collections. Earlier this year Vetements made waves when it announced that it was pulling out of women’s Fashion Weeks in March and October in favor of showing its collections during men’s Fashion Weeks in January and June. The Gvasalia brothers reason in to have more time to create and presumed larger buys from retailers since their womenswear would now arrive at the same time as pre-collections, which traditionally stay on the sales floor longer than Spring or Fall lines. Burberry, and Tom Ford later followed suit moving towards a single runway show too.
Designers including Gucci have already been adding womenswear look to men's shows and vice versa. The decision might not only be a practical but also an ideological one. Because Michele is producing six separate presentations of men’s and womenswear a year at Gucci. With this change, it will take down to four. “It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together. It’s the way I see the world today,” said Michele in a release. “It will not necessarily be an easy path and will certainly present some challenges, but I believe it will give me the chance to move toward a different kind of approach to my storytelling.”
Although going through some change, Gucci is not adopting a 'see now, buy now' model like the others such as Tom Ford and Paul Smith. In a statement, the Italian house said, "it will maintain its 'see now, buy later' schedule, respecting the necessities of the creative and production process in luxury fashion." And the first show will take place in 2017 at Gucci's new Milan HQ at Via Mecenate.
With disruptions to the fashion system and countless arrivals and departures of designers at the industry’s major labels, it’s clear that we’ll look back on this year as one of seismic change. And leaving us wonder, who will be next to join?