For the first time, LFW will merge womenswear and menswear into a single, gender-neutral showcase that will be rolled out on londonfashionweek.co.uk.

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020

When lower turnouts were evident at Fall 2020 Fashion Week last February due to COVID-19, criticism and speculations escalated concerning the fate and sustainability of staging runways every quarter. Among the four fashion capitals, London Fashion Week, in particular, made commendable efforts to reduce the negative impact of the industry by setting up a swap shop and promoting sustainable fabrics.

Yesterday, the British Fashion Council doubled its efforts by announcing that the next LFW calendar will continue as previously scheduled for June – except the shows will be launched digitally.

For the first time, LFW will merge womenswear and menswear into a single, gender-neutral showcase that will be rolled out on londonfashionweek.co.uk.

“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate,” Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said in a release.

“By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future. Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community.”

Backstage at the Erdem A/W 2020 show. (Photo: @erdem/Instagram)

The new digital format will include a variety of content including interviews, podcasts, designer diaries, webinars and digital showrooms. This will be made available to both industry insiders as well as fashion consumers.

If fashion was once exclusive industry, the coronavirus has been the catalyst for it to embrace more sustainable practices.

The move to digital and gender neutral will not only open the doors of accessibility and public engagement for British fashion, but also translate to less waste generated for the former, demanding schedule. Although this does not signal the cancellation of September’s shows, it will provide designers with greater flexibility to produce high-quality designs.

Rush added: “The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity, and product that you value, respect, cherish.”

London Fashion Week’s gender-neutral schedule will roll out for the next 12 months (until April 2021), while its digital platform will be accessible from June 12, 2020, and until June 2021.