The revolution will be streamed: SA Fashion Week to present digital-only shows in light of coronavirus

Gert-Johan Coetzee fashion show during Day 2 of the SA Fashion Week (SAFW) Autumn/Winter 2020 Collection Showcase at Sandton City rooftop on October 24, 2019 in Sandton, South Africa. Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Gert-Johan Coetzee fashion show during Day 2 of the SA Fashion Week (SAFW) Autumn/Winter 2020 Collection Showcase at Sandton City rooftop on October 24, 2019 in Sandton, South Africa. Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Remember when we conjectured in a previous article around how the coronavirus pandemic has threatened fashion weeks around the world, that perhaps Covid-19 is the unlikely, yet unfortunate 4IR nudge fashion needs to start reconsidering its ailing fashion week model, using Armani and AFI's closing day as early 'case studies'? 

And let's face it - technology (our smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets supplementing photography) has always been the primary lens through which we appreciate and analyse collections shown at fashion week anyway, even when we're there in real time, sitting pretty in front row.

READ MORE: AFI cancels last day of Fashion Week as the coronavirus continues to cause panic in the industry

Well, SA Fashion Week (SAFW), which takes pride in being in the "business of ethical fashion", has instead of postponing their events usually held at Sandton City, announced a first-of-its-kind digital-only showcase for their upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion Week.

Of course, this comes in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak; hence SAFW declares they are committed to supporting and adhering to the directives given by President Cyril Ramaphosa - including the prohibiting of mass events/gatherings of more than 100 people.

The organisation is all about being "climate-friendly, green-friendly, and COVID-19 respectful," as it turns 23 this year.

"We had been wanting to push change and the agenda. This was the push we needed," their media alert received this morning reads.

COVID-19 has paved the way for something rather beautiful and unique to happen. Our designers' stories will be told in a refreshing and relevant way. And our sponsors and other stakeholders will be part of a bigger, global audience. This is our 23rd SA Fashion Week. We believe it will be our most important.
SA Fashion Week

However, a "Fake News" Instagram post made earlier today by SAFW, captioned "SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 is NOT POSTPONED!", has been misunderstood by a few concerned members of our local fashion fraternity... understandably so. This gainsaying of fake news around the fashion week's postponement only provides a link to sign up to their newsletter without providing clarity on a way forward with regards to the Spring/Summer 2020 shows. 

Perhaps it's just a marketing ploy to create enough buzz around the upcoming showcase to prompt people to sign up to the newsletter to gain access to their new digital explorations. 

READ MORE: Vanity in the time of Covid-19: Should we hold back on beauty treatments and makeup shopping for now?

Fashion retailers are also slowly but surely beginning to punt their e-commerce divisions in light of Covid-19, encouraging consumers to visit their online - over their brick-and-mortar stores.

Two such stores that we've received word from so far are Cotton On and Sissy Boy, who have made the below statements respectively: 

Sissy Boy sanitises

A letter from Sissy Boy founder, Ronald Sassoon

The health, safety & well-being of our customers, employees and partners will continue to be our number one priority which is why we've implemented the following measures: Hand sanitisers have been positioned at all till points in our stores which we encourage customers to use on entry and exit from our stores. Strict cleaning measures have been implemented in stores and the frequency thereof has increased significantly. Internal awareness about the Virus has been amplified to empower our staff with the knowledge they need to combat the spreading thereof. Our cleaning team at our Head Office and Factory has increased and so has the frequency of daily cleaning times. Hand sanitisers have been placed at all high touch points throughout the building and every individual who enters must sanitise their hands before proceeding further. If you feel more comfortable shopping from afar feel free to explore our online store at or connect with us via social media for daily fashion inspiration & trends.

Cotton On cares 

"To our global community" - Peter Johnson, CEO

coronavirus forces stores to go online
SAFW goes digital

Are you still keen on shopping for clothing while we're encouraged to social distance? Tell us here how you're resisting the urge or finding ways around the risk.

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