With one of the most challenging years having drawn to a close, fashion has kicked off 2021 by doing what it does best: moving forward. Once again, the new year starts with the menswear shows — albeit with a later start for FW21, thanks to a slight schedule shift — enabling showgoers to have at least recovered from New Year’s Eve before the show season starts. The recurrent question on everyone’s mind this season, though, is: are gender-specific fashion weeks still relevant?
Last year, most official fashion weeks opted to show co-ed, but FW21 sees a partial return to separate schedules, with London and New York once again consolidating their timetables in February. The line-ups may, on first glance, seem somewhat sparse and a little disjointed, but there are still plenty of exciting moments that promise to push men’s fashion forward.
The best thing about digital fashion week? The shows are open to all. So kick back and tune in from the virtual FROW, whether that be your sofa, bed or kitchen counter…
Pitti Immagine Uomo, Florence: 12 to 14 January
The menswear fashion season kicks off with Pitti Immagine Uomo, but this time only four brands will be presenting via live-stream on the digital platform, Pitti Connect: Brunello Cucinelli’s heritage-inspired tailoring, technical outerwear at Herno, Kiton’s luxury athleisure and, of course, Lardini’s Italian sportswear.
Milan Fashion Week Men’s: 15 to 19 January
Although working to a heavily reduced schedule, MFW Men’s will still be showcasing one of the most hotly anticipated collections of the season — Raf Simons’ first menswear show at the joint helm of Prada. We hope to expect some Raf-isms such as androgynous pieces, avant garde silhouettes and a healthy dose of his classic graphic prints.
Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina’s Sunnei will show, which gained traction last year with its gender-neutral fashions. New additions to the schedule include Nigerian labels Lagos Space Programme and Bloke, bringing tailored precision and eclectic textiles to the table from across the globe. All of the aforementioned have opted to show digitally via Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and its official websites. Meanwhile, Fendi and Etro are among the few who have chosen to show physically, with social distancing measures in place.
Paris Fashion Week: 19 to 24 January
PFW Men’s is yet to fully confirm its schedule, but the provisional one is enough to entice any fashion fan, starring such heavyweights as Louis Vuitton, Dior Men, Loewe and Celine, to younger labels such as Wales Bonner, Botter, and Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Emerging brands that debuted on the schedule in 2020 — KidSuper, Cool™ and Boramy Viguier — are also due to present. Stay tuned to Paris’s Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode site, which currently states that “formats will be specified when [the] final calendar is published”.
New York Fashion Week: 13 to 18 February
The Council of Fashion Designers of America has confirmed that it will once again be presenting a co-ed schedule in February on its Runway360 digital platform. However, with fewer and fewer menswear brands choosing to show in New York, it wouldn’t be a surprise if participation was at a minimum this season. Watch this space for updates.
London Fashion Week: 19 to 23 February
The British Fashion Council is also sticking to a co-ed schedule. A provisional line-up was shared in December, which includes the following brands: Ahluwalia, Stefan Cooke, Daniel w. Fletcher, Per Götesson, JordanLuca, and Xander Zhou. Notable new names are AV Vattev, LYPH and MAXXIJ — but with London renowned as a hotbed of emerging talent and always being the most creative of the men’s fashion weeks, anticipate more exciting young names to join the list.
Originally published on Vogue.in