Blog: Leonie BarrieCatwalk shows out of fashion?

Leonie Barrie | 16 January 2004

Do designer catwalk shows lead to widespread copying? That’s the debate now raging after Didier Grumbach, the president of the union representing French haute couture and ready-to-wear, said staging the shows six months ahead of the selling season simply provides high street fashion chains with a chance to produce cheap imitations. This is exacerbated, he says, by widespread TV, media and Internet coverage. The retailers, of course, argue that they don’t copy, but tap into the season’s trends and come up with their own ideas

It’s a Catch-22 situation, and one the M Grumbach admits is controversial. But, he says, the system will change eventually. If designers show their collections behind closed doors, with press and public viewings taking place just days before the clothes go on sale, then the shows will inevitably lose much of their glamour and prestige. Equally, it is the hype that the media frenzy generates that feeds the industry, from designer to high street. And without it, where would the designers find themselves?

FRANCE: Fashion Chief Calls For End To Early Shows


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