KCD wants to revolutionize the runway, and you can watch it all unfold on your laptop or iPad. The public-relations powerhouse, which manages high-end labels such as Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Chanel, and Diane von Furstenberg, announced Monday that it will produce a number of fashion shows in a purely digital format. Coming on the heels of a recent show date “crisis”—a result of Milan pushing back the dates for its September shows—KCD is pitching the invitation-only Internet platform as an alternative to the increasingly crowded schedules that pull editors and store buyers in multiple, often opposing, directions. (Cue the usual gripes about aching feet.) Set to launch during New York Fashion Week, Digital Fashion Shows will debut with Prabal Gurung’s inaugural ICB collection on February 15, although his signature label will appear more conventionally on the catwalk.

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Will celebrity-packed front rows be a thing of the past?


Purists may argue that that a computer cannot replicate the experience of seeing the clothes in person, but KCD plans to augment the live-streaming with backstage footage, designer interviews, and behind-the-scenes information about the collections. Not that the events will be any less exclusive, of course; the democratization of Fashion Week this ain’t. “The password is just a replacement for your seat number,” Ed Filipowski, a co-president of KCD, told the New York Times. “To me, it’s not MTV, it’s not YouTube. It’s for the industry.”

KCD plans to augment the live-streaming with backstage footage and designer interviews.

What would this mean for the planet? Fewer cross-country plane emissions, for one, which would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the shows. Less extravagent sets and lower-capacity spaces will also be copacetic—well, for everyone other than Karl Lagerfeld, anyway.

We doubt the day will come when all fashion shows are virtual. For smaller designers and secondary lines without the financial wherewithal to mount their own online shows, however, the technology could keep them from being overlooked in favor of marquee names or, at the very least, appointments with the podiatrist.

+ Digital Fashion Shows


[Via The New York Times]