Vivienne Westwood merges shows and streamlines labels
Vivienne Westwood has joined a growing band of designers by announcing that she will merge her men's and women's catwalk collections. Her AW17 menswear show, which normally takes place in Milan, will relocate to London Fashion Week Men's (formerly London Collections Men) in January, and the February women's show will move to be shown at the same time.
Westwood is also taking the opportunity to streamline her portfolio of labels. The Vivienne Westwood Red Label and Man collections will cease to exist and be merged under the Vivienne Westwood mainline. By showing both men's and women's mainline together Westwood hopes to provide a clearer vision of the brand and the move chimes with Westwood's long-held position that consumers should buy less and buy better.
“Our whole structure will be directed by quality,” the designer said in a press release. “Reduce our company in size, reduce it to its essentials. Buy less, choose well, make it last.”
Westwood's move means the brand will not be on the schedule for London Fashion Week next month (15-20 September) but industry insiders will gain access to private previews of next January's show. The Anglomania brand will remain in the portfolio, as will the World's End and accessories collections, while the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood (designed by Westwood's husband) will continue to show at the ready-to-wear shows in Paris in October.
The trend to combine men's and women's shows has gathered pace since Burberry broke ranks at the start of the year and said it would show a joint men's and women's show. Others have since followed suit, though not all will take Burberry's approach of see now buy now (showing in-season), such as Gucci and Vetements.