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Sweden has pulled Stockholm fashion week to 'explore more sustainable options' so have they solved the global industry's woes?

Perhaps they will have solved the global industry’s woes...

03 Jul 2019

Traditionally, fashion shows are the cornerstones of the industry calendar. When designers present their collections with all the labels of one city coming together to show the industry - that’s the international set of press and buyers - their designs, they wait with bated breath to see what the vision of what they’ll be styling, and buying, six months later will be.

The old school fashion capitals of New York, London, Milan and Paris put on shows back-to-back throughout September and February but more recently, a slew of global cities joined the accredited schedule. Kiev, Seoul, Copenhagen and Stockholm all took their place in the fashion ranks and provided wild inspiration and international exposure to their homegrown talents. But now Sweden has announced that they are removing themselves from the show circuit and pulling the planned Stockholm fashion week at the end of August, citing issues of sustainability as the reason they’re rethinking their scheduled slot.

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“Stepping away from the conventional fashion week model has been a difficult, but much considered, decision,” said Jennie Rosén, the Swedish Fashion Council’s CEO. “We need to put the past to rest and to stimulate the development of a platform that is relevant for today’s fashion industry.” It’s true that the entire fashion industry is in a position of great flux. Insider chat has recently focused on how fashion shows can exist in a business that has changed beyond belief and as sustainability becomes fashion’s biggest focus. But also the way we consume shows is being questioned. Do fashion shows still have a place? When live streaming means anyone can see a show from their bed / desk / seat on the bus is it really necessary for the fashion pack to drop everything and descend en masse on one city and one venue? Change is tough but the fashion world is struggling to come up with a way of moving on. Stockholm has been the first city to make a stand.

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Due to run from August 27-29, Stockholm’s show schedule was always dwarfed by the neighbouring city of Copenhagen, which draws a bigger roster of talent (their shows are at the start of the month, over five days), and therefore is where the international eye rests in Scandinavia. Rotate, Saks Potts, Ganni and Stine Goya are all as familiar names to UK fashion fans as Danish ones but Stockholm’s schedule was a little less star-spangled - and the week was in fact just three days. The street style in Stockholm was always inspirational but that isn’t enough to keep the event alive.

It’s a major plus point that the Swedish Fashion Council is making a pledge to support fashion talent and how they can better serve the city’s designers. “The Swedish fashion industry is extensive and growing, so it is crucial to support brands in their development of next-generation fashion experiences. By doing this we can adapt to new demands, reach sustainability goals and be able to set new standards for fashion,” she added. All eyes are on Stockholm. Perhaps they will have solved the global industry’s woes, but we will see…

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