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Designers at Paris Fashion Week Think Shoppable Runway Shows Are Ridic

Photo: Driely S.

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Designers at New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week are completely upending the traditional fashion calendar and trying to get their runway collections into the hands of shoppers ASAP.

But in Paris, the attitude is more, "What exactly is the problem?"

Ralph Toledano, the president of the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers, basically told WWD that the schedule isn't broken.

In fact, the board of directors for the foundation unanimously voted to maintain the status quo, with collections showing on the runway a season before they hit stores.

The list of Paris Fashion Week brands who agreed to keep the current schedule instead of moving to shoppable runway shows is long. It includes Hermès, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci, Chloé, Issey Miyake, Isabel Marant, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela, Paul Smith, and Kenzo.

Some of the issues Toledano cited with switching the schedule relate to production, or meeting with buyers and editors. But really, Toledano doesn't think this is what shoppers actually want.

"There is not one person who said it was a problem," he told WWD, describing how the federation asked top boutiques around the world if their shoppers were happy with the current system. "Our clientele is educated and informed on how the system works."

Toledano expressed these same doubts about direct-to-consumer shows before NYFW week, as did the president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion. Another high-profile doubter is Francois-Henri Pinault, the chief executive officer of designer goods group Kering, who told Bloomberg last week that instantly shoppable runway collections "negates the dream" of luxury.