Shanghai Fashion Week May Be The Future Of Fashion Shows Post-Pandemic

Last year, they were the blueprint on how fashion shows would turn digital. Now Shanghai Fashion Week is our glimpse at fashion shows post-pandemic.

The fashion industry, as we’ve come to know it now, has undergone some significant changes. For one, the western world hasn’t seen a live fashion week for quite some time, while some designers have been looking to slow things down. The transitions haven’t come easy as the fashion industry was quite severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

To adapt, the industry has been looking at various ways to optimize the digital capabilities of fashion. Last year we saw the first “high fashion runway show entirely from home,” as reported by the “New York Times.” and that’s just one of the various changes to come with the new, largely digitized consumption of fashion. However, things are vastly different in Shanghai this year.

How Shanghai Fashion Week Has Been Able To Gain Prominence

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According to the Shanghai government, the Shanghai Fashion Week has thrust into the forefront of fashion, seeing a rise to fourth place in the world’s rankings. The fashion show’s fast-rising to become one of the forerunners in fashion, among the likes of Paris, Milan, New York, and London.

While the rest of the world is still experiencing a lockdown, Shanghai lives in a completely different reality. Having hosted the first fashion week online and subsequently the first to return to in-person shows, the Chinese city offers us a glimpse of post-pandemic fashion shows.

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Though attendees wore face masks, Shanghai effectively stopped the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020. The efficient response to the virus allowed for the growth of the fashion industry and the broad support of Chinese fashion both locally and internationally.

Shanghai Fashion Week

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Meanwhile, the rest of the world is still neck-deep in the pandemic and trying to get the vaccine out swiftly. Fashion shows are still largely digital for the west.

Shanghai Fashion Week has brought a hybrid showcasing that’s physical while supplemented with digital showroom and live streams. In this way, the show is available to local and international fashion enthusiasts.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – APRIL 17: Models walk the runway during a collection show by graduates from Jiangsu College of Engineering and Technology on day 13 of Shanghai Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2021 at 800Show on April 17, 2021 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Xu Peiqin/VCG via Getty Images)

While designers are enthusiastically supporting physical shows, it isn’t without acknowledging the potential of digital spaces.


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One of the primary takeaways from Shanghai Fashion Weeks’ rise is the proof of the staying power of the physical format. A digital presentation hardly fulfills the experience of an in-person show.

With that, the digital space has opened up a world of possibilities, especially since the digital shopping and live streaming industry is thriving. The sweet spot of a fashion show is in having both.

Written By:
Tumisang Mosito

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