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Paris Fashion Week faces “healthy competition” from New York, London and Milan, and will focus on more digital activations, sustainability and embracing Web3 — albeit with a light touch approach, vows Bruno Pavlovsky, the newly elected president of the French fashion industry’s governing body.
Pavlovsky, who is also president of Chanel Fashion and Chanel SAS, succeeds Ralph Toledano as president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode from 1 July. In an interview with Vogue Business he laid out his ambitions: “To continue to be where we are in a changing world, we must keep challenging ourselves,” he says.
Don’t expect “a big revolution”, but rather a “continuity” of the work Toledano, the Fédération’s executive president Pascal Morand and the executive committee have been doing over the last few years. He cites the example of the Paris Fashion Week digital platform, which was launched swiftly to stream videos for brands as Covid restricted physical shows. “It could be amplified. It’s a way to increase the impact of what we are doing,” says Pavlovsky.
The fashion calendar — which stuttered in the last few years as some brands pulled out, went digital and moved to their own schedule while reckoning with supply disruptions — is here to stay, Pavlovsky says. Many brands that left the schedule during the pandemic, such as Saint Laurent, have now returned, though others are still doing their own thing — like the recent Jacquemus show in Arles, held the day after Paris men’s week wrapped up.
Pavlovsky says the calendar is intended to keep quality high. “Even [at Chanel]; our cruise and Métiers d’art shows do not fit into the Fédération’s calendar. But, there are six moments — women’s, men’s, haute couture — that are imposed exercises and those who want to enter the Fédération, to take advantage of it, must respect the rules, which are not meant to constrain.” The rules are so that the “expression is the best possible and so that the quality is the best possible. I remind you that these rules are set [by the Fédération’s three] chambres syndicales, where all members can express themselves. We’re not in something that’s completely top down or fixed.”