The 26th edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion, the platform that promotes Catalan fashion around the world and is organised by the Department of Business and Knowledge’s Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion (CCAM in Catalan), was supposed to have taken place at the end of June and early July. However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the event was moved to September, and this time it will be in digital format.
Will the show be entirely digital?
Digital yes, but not virtual. We’ll broadcast 080 completely digitally without the possibility of physical attendance at the event. There will be no public, no buyers, no journalists, no friends of the brands,... But the catwalk at the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau will be real, the models will be real and they will parade in the different collections of real clothes. This will be recorded and broadcast on digital content platforms, as if it were a 080 television channel.
So the only people who will see the show in person will be camera operators.
Yes, they’ll be filming the presentations. The fact that there will be no public will allow us to operate more freely within the venue’s spaces, to record the event in different ways, and to find new ways of bringing the collections and brands closer to the spectator.
In the future, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, will the 080 go back to its usual format?
We hope that in coming editions people will be able to attend to watch the parades, as we are very committed to the physical format, but I think that the whole issue of digital broadcasting has come to stay. What does digital allow us to do? Let’s look for the positives: it allows us to reach many new audiences that are otherwise very difficult to reach. And when I say new audiences, I mean people everywhere, in the world of art and culture, for example, who are interested in the fashion industry.
What about a hybrid model?
The hybrid formula is an attractive possibility for the future. But the whole Covid thing has happened all of a sudden and is still going on. We’ve had to rethink the new 080 in record time, and we’re still learning. Once we’ve taken this on board and know more, it will be easier to make the necessary improvements in the digital area and at the same time reintegrate physical attendance and face-to-face meetings between people and professionals in the sector.
Covid-19 has hit the fashion world hard. The 080 show will be important to revitalise the sector.
The effort we’re all making to go ahead with 080 is precisely because in the face of the critical situation that the sector is experiencing in Catalonia and around the world, platforms like ours must serve to make the brands we have visible. We must make use of all the tools at our disposal to help make brands visible and boost their marketing and reputation on an international scale.
What will we see at 080 in September?
We closed the application process on June 30, from which we’ve selected the brands that will take part. What will we see? The 080 platform has been letting each brand decide its own strategy for a few seasons, and in recent years 85% of designers and brands have opted to present their spring-summer collections for the following year, so we will no doubt see what will be coming up for spring-summer of 2021. At the same time, for a few seasons some brands have opted for the see-now-buy-now strategy. Since Covid-19, we’ve been seeing a growing commitment to this formula, so we will surely see many proposals for this autumn-winter of 2020.
Sustainability and technology applied to fashion have been two mainstays of recent 080s. Is this still the case?
The 080 platform is very open to including among its tools business strategies that incorporate digital transformation technologies and, above all, those that are sustainable. Yet, our goal is not to demand that a brand be 100% sustainable or that it use technological materials. Our aim is to promote Catalan fashion in the commercial field, the business of the fashion, the fashion industry. It’s true that the technology applied to smart fabrics is of great interest to us and we have more and more brands working on it, but the reality is that these fabrics are not yet in stores. Another thing is sustainability; a few years ago it was a differential value, now we have to see it as a necessity. If you’re not sustainable, you have a problem.