In early February, as the full force of the Covid-19 epidemic was hitting China, the Shanghai Fashion Week was one of the first events to be postponed, to an indefinite date. It was officially set to begin on March 26, but it then decided to adopt an unprecedented online-only format: from March 24 to 30 it is being broadcast live on Tmall, the leading website of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, as well as on its live-streaming shopping site Taobao Live. First in the history of fashion. Last week, the organizers published the calendar of the Shanghai Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2020-21 season, announcing a programme with over 150 labels and designers from around the world, among them Diane von Furstenberg, and scores of emerging Chinese designers like Yirantian, Shushu/Tong and Angel Chen. This unusual fashion week will also feature the chance of buying products on a see-now, buy-now basis. Viewers will be able to “buy some of the items seen on the catwalk shows – and pre-order new looks from the fall collections – in real time via their smartphones”. This will give the opportunity to the labels showing during the week to present over 1,000 items from their latest collections, and sell their products to the more than 800 million monthly active users on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites.
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