Gucci Says It Will Have Only Two Fashion Shows a Year

Multiple seasons and shows are a "worn-out ritual," says the creative director.

Alessandro Michele, creative director at Gucci
Fashion Designer Alessandro Michele at the Gucci Fall/Winter 2020/21 fashion show during Milan Fashion Week in February 2020.

 Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images

Gucci is one of the first major fashion labels to agree to fewer annual shows. The proposal to shake up the traditional fashion calendar, which has always consisted of numerous official seasons and in-between seasons, was made by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council. It recommended that designers embrace a slower pace and "focus on no more than two main collections a year ... [which] will have a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of the industry."

To this, Gucci has given a resounding "yes!" The Italian megabrand has announced that it will reduce the number of shows it presents each year from five to two. In a series of "diary entries" posted on the Instagram page of Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele, the designer wrote,

"We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story ... I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words. Labels of an impersonal discourse that has lost its meaning."

French fashion label Saint Laurent has taken a similar stance, opting out of Paris fashion week this fall and saying it will reshape its fashion calendar in a departure from the norm. This decision "was made in response to the 'waves of radical change' unleashed by the pandemic" (via Business of Fashion). 

These so-called waves of radical change likely refer to a sudden understanding of the precariousness of the fashion industry in the face of economic shutdowns; a budding awareness and alarm over the pollution generated by the fashion industry, from textile production to manufacturing to showing internationally to disposal; and the increasing poor quality of items on the marketplace, a.k.a. fast fashion

The pandemic-induced lockdown has also opened people's eyes to the superfluity of many clothes and, more specifically, how they're able to make do with less. A recent UK study found that 28 percent of people are "recycling or reusing more clothes than normal" and 35 percent of women say they plan to buy fewer clothes once the lockdown ends. This is a significant shift from the insatiable shopping habits of pre-coronavirus times, and while it may not stick forever, fashion labels cannot ignore such changes, even if they are only temporary.

Michele, too, was influenced by life under lockdown. CNN reports that it was during isolation that he realized "our reckless actions have burned the house we live in. We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it." 

It sounds like a spectacularly Treehugger-ish perspective, one that's not typically heard from big luxury fashion labels. Could it be that, finally, the world is listening to the message we've been shouting for years? Now, if only Gucci could make clothes that are a wee bit more practical, then we'll definitely be on the right track.