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Balenciaga to delay first haute couture collection to July 2021

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Sep 21, 2020

Fashion

Balenciaga is to delay its first foray into haute couture until July 2021, according to the brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia.

In an interview with WWD the designer said the pandemic upended the company’s fashion calendar forcing the planned show for January 2021 to be put forward to next July.

Gvasalia further confirmed Balenciaga intends to show only one haute couture collection per year, underscoring its unique qualities, value and sense of exclusivity.

Gvasalia iterated: “Couture is something special. We need to learn again to be patient about special things. By exhibiting once a year there is enough time to do something really special, to develop something that is not easy to copy, so it can be true couture.”

“Couture represents freedom of creativity and freedom in fashion. And that’s maybe the reason why I wanted to do it so badly. I believe strongly that couture actually may save fashion, in its modern way.…It can actually become the driving force of fashion again, because you’re free from the constraints of industrial production.”

The Kering-owned maison will also change its prêt-à-porter calendar, showing pre-collections during Paris Fashion Week and its mainline in June and December.

“The show itself has been in the fashion rules for decades, there is a show during fashion week when everyone is in Paris. I feel the need to do it differently so that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience. Obviously, also for professionals, but the focal point for me is the people who buy what I do,” Gvasalia said.

A Balenciaga show is typically attended by up to 700 guests, including journalists, retailers, celebrities and influencers, with thousands following the collection and its shows online.

A platform for innovation

In January 2020 Gvasalia announced the reintroduction of haute couture, with the aim to bring Balenciaga back to “its sources of origin” and creating “an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation.”

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP