Dior will still go ahead with a Cruise show this summer, staging a live event in Lecce, Puglia, but without an audience.
The show was originally set for 9 May, but - as with so many other catwalk events - had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Until today, it was not known as to whether the show would take place at all.
The news was announced via an online press conference with Pietro Beccari, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture, and Dior's womenswear artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Beccari confirmed that there were three main reasons behind the decision to continue with the show - the first being that "nothing carries emotion like a real, live fashion show". Additionally, he explained that the fashion house also wanted to send "a message of support, hope, optimism and rebirth after this period of difficulty" to the fashion industry as a whole. Finally, Beccari explained that they had worked with local artisans from Puglia on the creation of the collection and the production of the show, and they wanted to make sure that their efforts were still celebrated and showcased - particularly given that the region has been so badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. "This is a tribute to their passion and commitment," he said.
"This project is very close to my heart because my father was born in Puglia," Chiuri said, adding that her mother might be the only person that gets an invite to the show.
During the conference, Beccari confirmed that there won't be a similar live show for couture fashion week (scheduled for 6-8 July), but that there will be an alternative "surprise" which will convey "the emotion and the story we would like to tell", which will be announced in due course.
He also confirmed that Dior intends to stay part of the traditional fashion week schedule, with the hopes of staging a show with a small audience "if not a full room" in Paris in September. Grazia Chiuri emphasised that Dior's participation in Paris Fashion Week is also "important for others" - including the city itself in which the shows take place. "We don't want to forget that," she said.
Brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Michael Kors recently announced plans to move away from the traditional calendar and set their own pace, while Burberry announced this week its plans to host an outdoor presentation during London Fashion Week to be streamed online.
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