Saint Laurent Will Not Show At Paris Fashion Week, Set Own Schedule

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Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

PARIS — Luxury French house Saint Laurent will not show at Paris Fashion Week and set its own pace for showing collections for the duration of the year, as the brand pivots to adapt to the coronavirus crisis.

Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” the brand was set to reveal today.

In an exclusive interview with WWD, creative director Anthony Vaccarello said the “violent” impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has forced the closure of most of Saint Laurent’s stores, meant “business as usual” was not an option.

Chief executive officer Francesca Bellettini hinted that the brand could still stage a physical show at some point this year — but is favoring formats that are more intimate and closely aligned to the final customer.

Saint Laurent is owned by luxury conglomerate Kering, and is the first major French fashion house to set out its intentions since the COVID-19 outbreak upended the calendar, forcing the cancellation of the Paris men’s fashion week in June and haute couture week in July (see it here).

After joining Saint Laurent in 2016 (see it here), Vaccarello initially showed women’s and men’s designs together as part of the traditional women’s wear calendar in Paris.

But in recent years, Saint Laurent has opted out of Paris men’s fashion week, striking out on its own with shows in New York City in June 2018 and Malibu in June 2019.

Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimizing the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives,” it said.

With this strategy firmly in place, Saint Laurent will not present its collections in any of the preset schedules of 2020. Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity,” it concluded.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Bellettini and Vaccarello explained the thinking behind their decision, how they plan to tweak the collections and advertising campaigns once stores reopen, and how to stay creative under lockdown. Below are some excerpts:

WWD: What made you decide to forgo the traditional fashion show schedule for the duration of the year, rather than taking a step-by-step approach as authorities decide when and how each country can lift its lockdown?

Anthony Vaccarello: This is not about going against the authorities. It’s about being positive, not passive. We have known for years that something has to change. The time is now. There is no good reason to follow a calendar developed years ago when everything was completely different. I don’t want to rush a collection just because there is a deadline. This season, I want to present a collection when I am ready to show it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to suddenly and completely change our habits, behavior, and interactions with others. It has had a violent impact, disguised in apparent calm.

Our decision not to be part of any predefined calendar this year stems from our desire to recognize the importance of our time, of our life. A certain way of living more than a certain way of dressing. Slowing down and living the moment reveals all the vulnerabilities of an imprisoned  organization. What’s out of fashion now is the schedule of the entire system: the shows, the showrooms, the orders.

Francesca Bellettini: Remaining in a limbo where nobody knows what to do and how things will be creates even further uncertainty. By nature we are a boldly decisive house where creativity plays the central role. In these circumstances, it is clear to us that creativity cannot be forced into an arbitrary, preset timetable, but should be free to express itself in the form, place and time Anthony feels appropriate, with everything else coming after.

Having made this decision, we find it important to communicate our intentions. As we’ve seen from how this crisis has been managed in different places around the world, the “wait-and-see” approach has been less successful than strong and clear decisions and rules set and communicated from the start.

Head over to WWD to read the interview in its entirety.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Saint Laurent Spring 2020 Womenswear.

Photos Credit: Filippo Fior /

Source: WWD

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.