Balmain Fall 2020 Fashion Show

How Designer Houses Engaged VIPs & Ambassadors Remotely In the ‘No Shows’ Era

The Rise of the Virtual VIP

By Long Nguyen

Giorgio Armani was the first designer, and one of the largest luxury brands to alter the format of its seasonal women’s collection live physical fashion show scheduled for 23 February at the Teatro the via Bergonuovo headquarter. Instead of a live audience, this show was live stream without any audience present. 

“The show will be filmed in an empty theater, without press and buyers,” was what the company said at the time in the early stages of the pandemic impact in the Lombardia region. Armani was the first live stream show that ushered an era of digital-only initiatives in the following year with no physical shows in Milano, Paris, and New York. The designer appeared and took his usual bow in front of rows of empty chairs. This live stream show was the first but a sign of what was to come in the following seasons. Armani did not cancel his show, only showing it differently. 

Giorgio Armani Fall 2020

Indeed, the pandemic year that started with the global lockdown in March 2020, just after Paris Fall 2020 shows ended, changed the format of fashion presentations. Now, the new is in digital forms ranging from short movies to actual films to tapings of private runway shows to the streamlined, straightforward staging of new products. 

What makes a physical fashion show today has evolved rapidly in the past decade with an ever-changing of the guards, especially in the front row sections as priorities transformed. Today VIPs are part of a broader measure to develop communities based on shared commonalities and shared ideals and tastes. Deploying these VIPs year-round is a form of customer acquisition and retention, aka CRM in the fancier marketing terminology. 

In the past three decades, the front row of fashion shows has changed significantly due to a reshuffling of brand priority in the ever rapidly evolving stratum of the status of different groups of show attendees. Since the earnest rise of the digital era circa 2009 with the launch of Instagram that October, the usual media figures from traditional print establishment had to share their perks with newcomers, first bloggers than the onslaught of influencers all in competition for limited real estate turf in an ever fast-paced evolving landscape. 

In the age of content, even the physical front rows that featured each fashion house preferred VIP celebrities’ representation also moved onto the digital realm. 

It was a pivotal moment for the fashion industry and a substantial challenge on the creative side to reimagine the fashion show format that has rarely changed or evolved for many decades now. Despite the decade of digital advancement, luxury fashion at the time sixteen months ago was at the gate of significant alterations in the thinking and the conception of fashion presentations. Urgent innovative approaches were requisite, but what and how? And more critically, can these innovations lead to a new fashion century?

Decades before there was such a department at luxury brands specializing in VIP relations, Giorgio Armani has already begun an invasion of Hollywood, first more stealthily, then with the installation of a more permanent structure of VIP services early as 1988. A decade before, the actress Diane Keaton accepted her best actress Oscar award for Annie Hall in a more casual camel single breast jacket, men’s shirt, long stripe silk skirt, and a yellow silk scarf at the 50th Academy Awards in 1978. 

Not long after, in a moment that firmly equates Armani with the Hollywood set, Jodie Foster wore a white cardigan slim jacket and nude beaded camisole and loose pants holding her Best Actress Oscar in 1992 for her role in The Silence of the Lambs. Julia Roberts wore a broad shoulder light grey single breast pantsuit for her Best Supporting Actress in the 1990 Golden Globes. These were only the beginning of an odyssey of entertainment figures dressed first in Armani, then eventually to conquer all of fashion. 

For more than sixteen months, fashion audiences worldwide have been glancing anxiously at small and medium screens looking at each new season. Fashion brands created alternatives to their cyclical physical shows to accommodate the forced cancellation with creative solutions on the virtual platform. The rise of the remote VIP front row as a platform aiding and supporting the new collections is a creative innovation during the pandemic. 

Dior is one of the first giant luxury brands to confront a fashion show season without the possibility of any physical shows starting in early July 2020 with the women’s Fall 2020 haute couture, then a week later the men’s Spring 2021. But the house did not rush into sending VIPs in the first outing. 

In the first big show of the pandemic era, Maria Grazia Chiuri worked with Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone to create a short film Le mythe Dior, a cinematic narrative film telling the story of a mythical transformation through marvelous clothes. This couture film was the first venture beyond the runway to mitigate the no runway show moment. The film has its high moment as a creative enterprise, but clothes as intricate as hand-made garments require tactile experience. The details of making the miniature couture dresses and the making of the Garrone film were the central focus.  

Dior Men’s SS 2021 – Idris Alba

The actor Idris Alba spoke in-depth with the Ghanian artist Amoaka Boafo about his art and the collaboration with Kim Jones for the Dior Men Spring 2021 collection in mid-July 2020. In place of just the regular deployment of VIP appearances wearing the latest drops, the Alba interview video was the first VIP/Ambassador working in a content creation capacity, done remotely. Alba’s focus was on the concept details of the men’s art collaboration and the extent of the support for the Ghanian artist. 

Towards the end of July 2020, Dior staged a cruise 2021 show in Puglia that had been planned for May in a nighttime live stream show without any audience. Incorporating local culture and local artisanal know-how is a prime reason for the cruise show traveling to different destinations each year. Chiara Ferragni, the house ambassador, was the voice and face of a short video curating the cultural heritage of the southern Italian region and the town of Lecce. 

Via remote, Dior combined the visual imagery in this Ferragni ‘tour guide’ video as a visual podcast using a VIP guest, thereby changing the role of the VIP guest. Rather than pose in the latest dress – Ferragni in two outfits, a print short sheath, and a white tank and long grey skirt  – the ambassador was in action narrating the theme of this cruise show identifying the various Puglia traditions of weaving, jewelry fabrication, and song.

Dior Cruise 2021 – Chiara Ferragni

In addition to Ferragni, Dior made videos with other collaborators talking about their distinctive expertise.  The choreographer Sharon Eyal, the artist Pietro Ruffo, the fabric maker Massimo Liso from Tessitura tre Campane, Cristina Rizzo of the Fondazione le Constatine for weavers, and artisan tombolo lace maker Marilena Sparasci told audiences their involvement in this cruise collection.

Dior’s Idris Alba and Chiara Ferragni were the first remote VIP/Ambassadors ushering in new forms of content creation involving these guests in making new collections of this new era of digital fashion presentation, albeit temporary.

That changed significantly with the Spring 2021 haute couture film premier. Yuko Araki, Maria Bakalova, Phoebe Dynevor, and Beatrice Casiraghi in a denim jumpsuit in the virtual front row line up of friends of the House to watch the Spring 2021 haute couture film by Matteo Garrone Le château du tarot. Bae Suzy, Beatrice Borromeo, Angela Yeung Wing aka Angelababy, Suki Waterhouse, Francesca Hayward, Kimura Kokomi aka Cocomi, Naomi Ackie, Iris Law, and Eleonora Abbagnato were the remote guests viewing the Fall 2021 film release of Disturbing Beauty made in Versailles.

Dior Haute Couture Spring 2021

Dior is also one of the first to return to the physical show in Paris in late September 2020 for the Spring 2021 women’s collection with a much-reduced scale of a live audience with a mixed format of live/remote. 

While Ludivine Sagnier, Emmanuel Devos, Camille Cottin, Maisie Williams, and Héloïse Letissier aka Christine and the Queens attended the show at the Tuileries, Jisoo aka Sooyaaa watched from Seoul wearing a cruise 2021 cotton stripe jumpsuit dress with a white shirt and LadyDLite purple bag. Cocomi enjoyed the show from Tokyo in a cruise 2021 white lace dress with a floral embroidered cardigan. But that’s not all, as Kate Mara, Francesca Hayward, Arlo Parks, and Natalia Dyer also joined the virtual front row watching the show like most the audiences wherever they were at the time. 

In December 2020, Dior enlisted a clutch of friends of the House – J Balvin, Ryusei Yokohama, Kailand Morris, Douglas Booth, Paapa Essiedu, Tyron Kaymone Frampton aks Slowthai – to host a series of animated short videos.  Each spoke about the new clothes accented with Kenny Scharf’s witty drawings that they were wearing to launch the pre-fall 2021 collection. They were also urging audiences across the globe to tune into the premiere of the actual taped runway film. Younes Bendjima, Kate Moss, Lila Moss, Guillaume Diop, Lukas Ionesco, Kailand Morris, Arnaud Valois. Ladj Ly and Jérémie Laheurte all watched the Fall 2021 men’s show featuring design collaborations with Peter Doig. 

Dior’s hybrid live/remote VIP/Ambassador formula is now a new standard shared across fashion. 

Dior Men returned to a smaller scale physical show in a tent behind the gold dome of the Hôtel des Invalides this past June, so too did the stars returning to their front row. But, joining Travis Scott at the show in Paris were hosts of talents like Robert Pattinson, Charlie Heaton, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Don Toliver, and Arnaud Valois joined from remote locations. A week later, the Dior haute couture fall 2021 show at the Rodin featured a mixture of live/remote VIPs. Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Cara Delevigne, and Florence Pugh sat inside the tent at the Rodin, while Monica Bellucci, Angelababy, and Anya Chalotra viewing the show at their homes. 

At the first Prada digital show in June 2020 for men’s Spring 2021, five photographers-directors provided five different ways to view Miuccia Prada’s last solo collection before the joint work with Raf Simons. The purpose was to focus on the essence of the Prada collections without any need for diversions. There were no VIPs invited for this digital show. And, none were there for the debut of the Prada-Simons Spring 2021 show in September 2020. But things changed thereafter. 

Prada Men’s SS 2021

“We felt all the time like reducing to something that feels essential in meaning, essential in the actual piece. Simplicity, purity, honesty,” was what Raf Simons said of the collaborative collection. The post-show conversations with questions submitted beforehand were on their own an innovative approach as both designers spoke personally about their work via a live stream broadcast, here and again after the men’s Fall 2021 show in January 2021. 

Prada SS 2021

The first appearance of VIPs attending digital show via remote was for the men’s Fall 2021 season. Lee Jong-suk, Nick Robinson, Cai Xu-Kun, Lee Daniels, Dane Dehaan, Quavo Huncho, Pa Salieu, Anson Boon, Paapa Essiedu, Paul Mescal, Damson Idris, and Dan Levy attended the virtual show virtually, all wearing new spring clothes. 

A few months later, for Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ second women collection for Fall 2021, also shown via the taped runway show format in Milano, the brand enlisted Hunter Schafer, Kim Tae-Ri, Lashana Lynch, Mei Nagano, Katherine Langford to view the digital premiere of the show.  The Korean actress Kim Tae-Ri wore a gold sheath dress with a triangular logo and art motif pattern. 

The brand continued the highly successful post-show round table public discussion via remote, launched for the debut Spring 2021 collection in late September 2020.  Both designers and Lee Daniels, Marc Jacobs, Hunter Schafer, Richie Hawtin, and Rem Koolhaas, all seen on giant vertical screens placed in a semi-circle against the light grey furry carpet and blue painted backdrop, discussed the show and fashion in general. 

Michael B. Jordan wore a brown leather blouson, chocolate turtleneck, and brown pants.  Cai Xukun was in a black single breast suit, Lee Jong-suk in a white coat and black pants, while Odell Beckham Jr in a black shirt suit and a print bodysuit. Deacon Phillipe in a black pantsuit and a range of acting and music talents like Deacon Phillipe, Damson Idris, Daniel Caesar Nicholas Galitzine, Miguel, Dori Sakurada, and long-time collaborator Dane Dehaan were all also dressed in the new fall 2021 collection.  They attended the digital debut of ‘Tunnel of Joy’ via remote – the Prada men’s Spring 2022 film runway presentation. 

Louis Vuitton only presented one live show in Paris in October 2020 at the newly renovated but unoccupied La Samaritane department store during the pandemic era. The House invited a limited select VIP for this Samaritaine show – Laura Harrier, Peggy Gou, Alicia Vikander, Venus Williams, WoodKid, Hugo Marchand, and Lea Seydoux. Otherwise, the brand went deep into the remote mode to gather the global networks of ambassadors around each new collection launch. 

The women’s Fall 2021, Cruise 2022, both Men’s Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 were all digital initiatives where the brand invited a series of VIPs and friends of the House to join remotely. Emma Roberts, Sophie Turner, Regina King, Naomi Osaka, Jennifer Connelly, Suzu Hirose, Jaden Smith, Samara Weaving, and Cynthia Erivo virtually watch the Fall 2021 show from home wearing different LV outfits. Samantha Weaving had on a very comfortable black LV logo silk pajama shirt and matching short seen on Samantha Weaving as she smiled while holding her Ipad. 

While the men’s spring 2021 in Paris was a brief comic strip video, the real live shows took place a month later in August in Shanghai, then a repeat in Tokyo in early September 2020. In Tokyo, Suzu Hirose, Takashi Murakami, Nigo, Riisa Naka, Ebizo Ichikawa, Tanakori Iwata, Haruna Kojima, Aya Omasa, Yorijo Noda and Hio Miyazawa joined the show at a cruise terminal in Tokyo Bay. A month earlier in August, Sam Lee, Ming Xi, Fan Cheng Cheng, Zhu Yilong, and Bai Jingting came to the same show staged at the docks in Shanghai. 

The Korean super K-pop boy-band BTS has been busy since becoming the official LV ambassador late this April. The band members shot a short video of assembling the LV men’s invitation package for the fall 2021 film runway show as remote guests. Then, BTS members walked the runway in Seoul when LV took the live show to Korea early in July.   

A firm believer in the runway as the primary manner of presenting new collections, Chanel returned to a limited audience live show at the Grand Palais in early October 2020 for the Spring 2021 show. Here, the House deployed the live/remote fusion format for this show, with the ambassadors creating a brief ‘video podcast’ rather than just posing for a picture. 

Marion Cotillard wore a white leather jacket over a navy top and matching pants from the Act 1 pre-spring collection, and Lily-Rose Depp was in a pink tweed jacket and blue denim pants at the live show. Other VIPs and ambassadors joined via remote, but instead of just a still life photo, they participate in small videos shot from around the globe, offering additional content construction at Chanel’s Instagram. 

The artist and author Cleo Wade interviewed Kristen Stewart, and Laura Bailey spoke to Margot Robbie. Stewart mentioned the women who walked under the ‘Hollywood’ Chanel double CC logo white sign as a backdrop of the show to signal how working women required wardrobe staples like a jacket or a tee-shirt and pants as an indication of the empowerment of women over the decades. 

Chanel Metier d’arts 2021 Kristen Stewart

The long-time ambassador Kristen Stewart was also the sole live guest at the Métiers d’art 2021 taped show at the Château de Chenonceau. Victoria Song, Angèle, Andra Day, Nana Komatsu, SooJoo Park, Whitney Peak, Jennie Ruby Jane, G Dragon, Bleshnya Miner, and Amanda Sanchez participated in short video teasers before the Fall 2021 collection film release in March 2021. 

The photographer-director Anton Corbijin shot Penélope Cruz, Vanessa Paradis, Izïa Higelin, Joana Preiss, Alma Jodorowsky, Marion Cotillard in a family portraits prior to the haute couture spring 2021 film shot at the Grand Palais. Margaret Qualley guided viewers in the brief video of her visit to the Chanel ateliers as the artisans finished the handiwork on the Fall 2021 couture collection. Qualley was the bride in the finale of the couture show at the Palais Galliera, where Daisy Edgar-Jones, Lyna Khoudri, Alma Jodorowsky, Karidja Toure, Anna Mouglalis, Sofia Coppola, and Anamaria Vartolomei sat in the courtyard of the museum. 

Olivier Rousteing at Balmain has always had keen insight into creating a community consisting of close friends and family of the fashion house.  He harnessed them into the ‘Balmain Army,’ a fashion version of the ‘ultras’ at football matches known for their fanaticism of their clubs. 

“Being forced apart taught us just how much we depend on being together. As we’re disappointed that so many of the #BalmainArmy cannot be here in Paris with us, we’ve transported to Paris fashion week some of those who have been kept far away from us,” Rousteing said of the absence of the usual VIP army at to his shows. By that, the designer meant installing rows of TV monitors, each with seat numbers and seat names of the actual guest who would normally occupy them. As the show started, their video images appeared on the screens filling in for their physical absence. 

At Balmain, remote and present merged into one space, albeit on high-definition monitors mimicking real life. It is like attending the show via a virtual proxy dressed off course in Balmain’s signatures pagoda shoulder dresses and jackets. The virtual section included an assortment of VIPs, influencers, and media figures: Jennifer Lopez, Maluma, and Natalia Vodianova. 

The deployment of VIP, primarily via remote at Gucci brand shows during the pandemic, is intrinsically linked to the specific show-event, principally the GucciFest and the Aria filmed show in April presenting the 100th year collection. The VIPs participated within the presentation as a whole – for example, they host the pre-show trailers or are active ‘actors’ in making the presentation of the new season. These VIP/Ambassadors became more than just guests watching a show.  

At Gucci, the brand opted for a series of Instagram Live with different pairs of VIPs discussing each of the seven episodes of the mini-series directed by Alessandro Michele and Gus Van Sant broadcasted over a week-long format a film festival. Gucci selected fifteen emerging brands and supported short films created by these designers that became part of the festival schedule. Rather than posing for a picture in the brand outfits, these pairs of invited VIP guests spoke directly in personal ways sharing what they feel about the specific episode that just aired, offering a chance for prolonging post-screening dialogues across the digital and hopefully physical spheres. 

Each pair of invited VIPs to the brand IG Live channel offered their dissection of the specific episode just after the broadcast.  Susie Lau and Petra Collins spoke about Episode 5 The Theater, Alexa Chung and Kenny Schachter discussed Episode 3 At the Post Office. Hari Nef and Natasha Lyonne exchanged ideas on the opening episode ‘At Home.’ Phoebe Bridgers and Willy Ndatira shared their thoughts on Episode 2 At the Café. Jared Leto and Zoë Bleu Arquette chatted on Episode 5 The Neighbours. Miranda July, Kin Gordon, and Curtis Harding talked about the last, Episode 7, A Nightly Walk

In the IG Live with The Lemon Twigs and Raven Smith on Episode 6 At the Vintage Shop, Smith spoke about how clothes do not have to be new to be great, which is part of the theme of the episode where looks from the Fall 2015 season reissued along with new merchandises. “To walk down that less trot path” was what Leto said when he emphasized how to embrace the uniqueness in people and art. 

Before the fall 2021 Aria show, prequel videos of Serena Williams, Lou Doillon, Chris Lee, and Jared Leto urged audiences to solve the GucciQuiz cross-world puzzle booklet that was part of the show invitation. Posted at Gucci Instagram, VIP attendees or as written in the caption as ‘attended a digital presentation of #GucciAria’ included Nabhaan Rizwan, Celeste, Phoebe Bridgers, Achille Lauro, Miyavi Ishihara, Sienna Miller, Anderson Paak, Arlo Parks, Benedetta Porcaroli, Ni Ni, Alessandro Borghi, Dakota Johnson, Mark Ronson, Florence Welch, Steve Yeun, Amanda Stenberg, and St. Vincent. It is safe to assume these VIPs saw the show remotely. 

I remembered in the distant past when the audience at Thom Browne men’s shows in New York in the far west side, before a new hub dubbed Hudson Yards even exist, solely composed of editors and buyers and perhaps a few hardcore fashion enthusiasts. We absorbed Browne’s imaginative and innovative clothes as models skated on ice, played tennis, or carried their surfboards. 

But Browne’s front row began growing when he moved his shows to Paris, both for men and women than in co-ed format. At the last live Paris show for Fall 2020 in March 2020, Janelle Monáe, Jeremy O. Harris, Masie Williams, Reuben Selby, Pelayo Diaz, and Chloe Wise. Browne enlisted the brand’s VIP friends with remote participation from Laura Dern, Julia Fox, Angelica Ross, Aldis Hodge, and Jeremy O. Harris. 

However, several notable absences from the remote front row platform during the pandemic epoch are Giorgio Armani and Versace from Milano and Celine from Paris. Even Michael Kors in New York, who presented filmed shows for his 40th Year collection for Fall 2021, did not deploy any VIP via remote.  

Armani condensed his men’s and women’s collections into the singular film shows taped at the Milano headquarters during the pandemic. A simple black and white invite card at the brand Instagram announced the co-ed fall 2021 show on 26 February to take place the following day without other celebrity or influencer support. Following the show, photographs with detailed caption descriptions of the clothes dominated the post-show postings. It wasn’t until a week later that several pictures of stars in Armani at the Golden Globes appeared, showing nominees Maria Bakalova in a red strapless faille embroidered gown and Renée Zellweger in a blue velvet strapless dress. In mid-March at the Grammys, nominee Ingrid Andress wore a white Privé pantsuit and Kendrick Sampson in a black cashmere tuxedo. 

Giorgio Armani Men Spring 2022 – Jack Huston & Kate Bosworth by @GermanLarkin

For Armani, the suspension of live shows is a temporary measure, thus no reason for changing celebrities’ usual support to expand visibility. He remains adamant about the critical importance of live shows for the brand’s audiences. 

The designer returned to a limited live physical show in mid-June with guests in the garden courtyard of his Borgonuovo home compound in Milano for men’s Spring 2022. His VIP friends also came to see the show, taking their seats in the garden. Adrian Brody sat in a grey suit, Jack Huston in a dark navy suit, and Kate Bosworth in a stark white pantsuit among the lush green grass and planted trees. 

At the Fall 2021 couture Privé show in Paris at the Italian Embassy, Diane Kruger, Melissa George, Maria Bakalova, and the Paris Opéra principal dancer Hugo Marchand came in person.  The guests gathered with the models post-show in the lush gardens of the Embassy, recalling the days before the health crisis. Hopefully, this will be a sign of the emerging near future, as Armani was the first to adopt the live stream method and one of the first to embrace the live presentation again. 

In Milano, Versace remains one of the most influential purveyors of celebrity VIP guests for her shows preferably as a live event. 

However, during the film showing like the Fall/Winter 2021 premier presentation on 5 March, Versace eschewed any remote VIP to support the launch of the new collection featuring a contemporary reworking of the iconic Greca motif print pattern. In the week following this fall show, Versace devoted its Instagram page solely to focus on this new season and showing in detail the manifestations of the Greca in all its glory. 

Similarly, there was no remote VIP in support of the Spring 2021 film show titled Versacepolis with an underwater seabed settlement in a spring collection revolving around the beauty and vibrancy of the natural world. The focus was purely on expanding on the different offerings from the film show. 

Although during this period, the brand did work with a few VIPs, notably the singer Dua Lupa for her performance at the American Music Awards in an Atelier Versace crystal mesh mini dress in mid-November 2020, Maya Hawke in an embellished mermaid dress also Atelier Versace for the 77th Venice Film Festival, Maluma also in an Atelier Versace black bespoke suit with Medusa detailing and Doja Cat in a red jungle-inspired mini dress for the MTV Music Awards at the end of August 2020. 

Hedi Slimane has gathered one of the most diverse personalities assembled at any fashion show in Paris for his Celine shows. Celine shows in tents under the gold dome of the Hôtel des Invalides or on the Place de la Concorde then was a magnet for crops of young musicians and artists and the groups of friends of the designer guests at the co-ed or seasonal men’s and women’s shows. 

At the Fall 2019 show in March 2019, Rebecca Marder, Étienne Daho, Amelie Daure, Lida Fox, Staz Lindes, Josephine de la Baume, Marlon Magnee, Grace Hartzel, Diane Rouxel, Christa Theret, Claire Laffut, Felix de Givry, Vencent Lacoste, Emmanuel Seigner, Elliot Margueron, Lili Sumner graced the VIP section inside the tent constructed especially for the show. For the men’s Spring 2020 show in late June 2019, Calypso Valois, Yohan Zimmer, Camille Cottin, Finnegan Oldfield, Romain Duris, Grace Hartzel, Miles Kane, Lisa Manoban, Naomi Greene, and Lewis Lazar. 

The Celine front row before the pandemic was more or less a kaleidoscope of a cross-section of the cool and new and old society. No other luxury brands have gathered this range of VIP guests for their fashion shows. Yet the brand did not gather its tribes for the film showings for the men and women Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 taped films, or the latest men’s Spring 2022 premiered in mid-July 2021. 

On the brand’s Instagram, it is business as usual. That meant the typical panels of images with a relentless focus on the collection and the various in-depth details of the products in stark black and white or light the color photographs and more art flavored shots taken as off-shots during the filming. 

At this moment, it remains uncertain whether brands that have used remote VIP front row extensively during the no-show epoch will continue with this strategy once smaller-scale live shows returned for Spring 2022. The men’s Spring 2022 and haute couture Fall 2022 selected shows in Paris early this summer may suggest the continuation of the live/remote hybrid model. The Asian border will remain closed until the end of 2022as the pandemic is again on the rise. 

The VIP/Ambassadors contribute to the stirrings of additional interests for any brands, befriend them by forging another avenue of commonality among the community, their fan base.  Brands hope such connections can establish a sort of link somehow that may eventually lead to a perfume, an eyeliner, and the actual prize a leather handbag or now its genderless cross-body versions.  

VIP/Ambassador is now deeply a cocooned vocabulary of the fashion system accustomed to multiple routes destined to the exact arrival point – increasing the bottom line in the subsequent quarterly earnings calls. The pandemic has opened fashion to new ways of doing ‘things’ as short movies, and taped runway footage replaced actual catwalks. The remote VIP network, even though born in the pandemic out of necessity, may prove a resilient asset to become a permanent feature in the show circuit system. 

Remote VIP front row is sure to continue, especially at massive global brands like Dior, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, all with a large contingency of international ambassadors. While replacing the live show with a digital alternative is questionable, the invention of the remote VIP should be here to stay.