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Virtual vs IRL events

As fashion week season rapidly approaches, our latest FashMash Focus session explored virtual versus IRL events.

Joined by another group of members who are experts in this field, we discussed what the world of physical versus digital experiences look like in the context of the pandemic, touching on everything from new technologies to a rethink on strategy. ⁣

Our co-founders Rachel Arthur and Rosanna Falconer will be sharing more about this via Instagram Live on Wednesday, September 9 at 7pm BST, so do join us then. In the meantime, some of the highlights: ⁣


With all of the discussions around “resetting” the fashion industry that COVID-19 has brought, a key focus has been about addressing the “why” of fashion weeks. Is now the time to strike a better balance between commercial and entertainment objectives? It’s already surprising to see so much on the calendar for September in a physical sense and it won’t take long for that to cascade to other social occasions the sector constantly hosts. In an industry “drunk on events”, what we need to see is brands rethinking quantity versus quality. ⁣


Nailing the digital version of both fashion weeks and wider industry events is easier said than done. While we have all become pros at Zoom meetings, true experiential innovation remains thin on the ground despite the opportunity for experimentation that today presents. That said, there are some winning examples from those giving it a go - with augmented reality, gaming and virtual garments emerging in different corners. ⁣



The challenge of greater innovation presenting itself at any time, but especially currently, lies in budgetary restrictions. None of this is a new conversation however - rather one we’ve been having for over a decade. The difference now is how much more advanced the tech is, and the fact we’re in a moment in time where we’re being forced to do things differently. There’s still a leadership play to be had here as a result, addressing everything from engagement to sustainability. So who is going to take the risk and truly usurp tradition? ⁣

FashMash Focus is sponsored by Klaviyo.


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