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Seoul Fashion Week gives everyone a front seat

Virtual fashion week allows immediate purchase from latest designer collections

Miss Gee Collection is shown on live-streamed runway on Oct. 20 at the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week(Seoul Design Foundation)
Miss Gee Collection is shown on live-streamed runway on Oct. 20 at the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week(Seoul Design Foundation)

The 2021 spring-summer Seoul Fashion Week ended Sunday, attracting some 670,000 views of the runway videos.

Korea’s largest fashion show kicked off on Oct. 20, live-streaming the runway show of Miss Gee Collection, womenswear brand headed by the veteran designer Gee Choon-hee who was named the honorary designer of the year. Miss Gee Collection has participated in Seoul Fashion Week for the past 20 years. The live digital runway was viewed by more than 20,000 people online, according to the Seoul Design Foundation that organized the show.

A total of 43 Korean fashion brands -- 34 established designers for the Seoul Collection Show and nine rookie designers for Generation Next -- showcased their spring-summer 2021 collections through the digital runways that were uploaded on Naver, Korea’s largest web portal; Chinese messaging app WeChat; SHOWstudio, the fashion film platform founded by British fashion photographer Nick Knight; and the Seoul Fashion Week’s official website and YouTube channel. 

Aimons shows its latest collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week. (Seoul Design Foundation)
Aimons shows its latest collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week. (Seoul Design Foundation)

The digital runways offered 5-10-minute runway shows held at various spots in Seoul, including a park, a rooftop, a designer’s studio and even in a cave. Eight to 10 digital runway shows were released every day during the five-day fashion week.

One of comments on the runway video of Holy Number 7, a fashion label founded by the designer duo Choi Kyung-ho and Song Hyun-heui, says, “I feel like I’ve just watched a short film. The concept of the new collection is really fabulous.”

The digital runway of Holy Number 7 starts with a verse from the Bible, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” before proceeding to showcase leather apparel in the black-and-white video. The video implied that people should persevere with hope rather than being controlled by negative situations, such as the pandemic. It was seen as a fresh approach to use a runway show to deliver a message to the society.

Holy Number 7 shows the new collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week (Screen capture of the digital runway show)
Holy Number 7 shows the new collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week (Screen capture of the digital runway show)

“See Now Buy Now,” where the fashion brands sold their signature pieces every night after the digital runways, was a key feature of this season’s virtual Seoul Fashion Week. While placing orders after the shows was the exclusive business of buyers at traditional fashion shows, the digital runways offered a special experience to the general public.

The live show was streamed on Naver Shopping in Korea and WeChat in China, selling some of the products from the runway shows at a discount. More than 10,000 people got online for the live show in Korea, asking questions about the products through the live chat rooms. The stylists and fashion models who appeared in the live shows interacted with them.

“We do not know the sales from the live shows yet because the products will remain available for purchase for a while after the fashion week,” said Park Soo, the project coordinator from the fashion business team at the Seoul Design Foundation. “But many people participated in the live chat rooms so we are assuming the live shows definitely contributed to sales.”
 
Oct31 shows its new collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week. (Seoul Design Foundation)
Oct31 shows its new collection through the digital runway for the 2021 S/S Seoul Fashion Week. (Seoul Design Foundation)

Seoul Fashion Week featured international brands on runways in an exchange program with the London Fashion Week. Edward Crutchley, the British fashion label known for its artisanal ethnographic style, launched a debut stage through the digital runway. MAXXIJ, a conceptual fashion brand created by Korean designer maxxij, had made a debut at the spring-summer London Fashion Week 2021 in September. The two fashion weeks have held exchange shows since 2018.

Seoul Fashion Week’s digital runways can be watched at https://bit.ly/37MfXEB

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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