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PMFW SS24: Before the show, there is business

By Florence Julienne


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Fashion |In Images

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved Pharrell Williams & Jay-Z

Paris Fashion Week, which presented the men's spring/summer 2024 collections, has just come to a close. To get an idea of what it was like, we can draw a parallel with the Cannes Film Festival.

Front and centre were the 80 brands on the official FHCM calendar, playing the catwalk card (42) and presentations (38) to give themselves international exposure. Season after season, the trend is confirmed: the more celebrities present, the greater the media impact. In other words, the greater the return on investment (ROI) for the brand.

At this game, we can imagine, even before the data confirms it, that Louis Vuitton took the gold medal with its American-style show. It's impossible to surf social networks (Instagram, TikTok or Twitter) or google the word 'fashion week Paris' without coming across images or press articles about the show.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved Kim Kardashian

In 2022, Launchmetrics estimated Louis Vuitton's brand value for the men's collection at 16 million dollars. For June 2023, speculation is rife about the amount of investment into the show, with the unverifiable and probably exaggerated figure of 200 million euros being mentioned. If this figure proves accurate, it should be compared with the 229 million spent on organising the catwalks, presentations and other events during the six fashion weeks in 2017 (source: IFM).

Is the parade profitable? That's probably not the point. Good buzz or bad buzz (the privatisation of the public sphere and the use of fur), as long as we're talking about the brand. Or Pharrell Williams at all, since his presence at Loewe, carrying at arm's length his reinterpretation of the yellow monogrammed Louis Vuitton Speedy bag (already out of stock), and at Kenzo attracted the attention of his fans and thus created a double impact.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Loewe – All rights reserved Pharrell Williams, Rocket Williams and Helen Williams

Loewe and Dior: International guest stars and breathtaking set designs to promote branding

The presence of South Korean pop singer Taeyong, with greying hair, influencer Emily Ratajkowski, Corey Mylchreest (Princess Charlotte) and Sébastian Stan (Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time) all played a big part in raising the profile of the Loewe show by Jonathan Anderson. But what really caught our attention was the arrival of Omar Rudberg and Kit Connor, the heroes of Netflix’s Young Royals, a series whose story centred around wealthy young people is sure to appeal to the golden youth that the luxury brand targets.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Loewe – All rights reserved Emily Ratajkowski, Taeyong, d’Omar Rudberg & Kit Connor

As well as this line-up of newcomers, the idols of Gen Z, the Loewe show delighted spectators with its scenography - three gigantic fountains created by American artist Lynda Benglis, set in a central waterbed - and its wardrobe suggestions for night clubbers - full sequin looks, high-waisted trousers and XXL tops.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Loewe – All rights reserved

Scenic effects are the second must-have when it comes to maximising brand awareness. To celebrate his fifth year at Dior, Kim Jones moved away from the traditional catwalk on which the models parade to make them appear and disappear under the floor, thanks to a set of moving hydraulic platforms.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Dior – All rights reserved

Dior also welcomed a choice front row, with singers and actors Cha Eun-woo and Chen Fei Yu among the most high-profile guests, underlining the brand's focus on the Asian market.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Dior – All rights reserved Cha Eun-woo

Ami Paris or the perfect balance between show and business

Finally, to close this chapter aimed at showing how Paris Fashion Week has become a gigantic red carpet capable of generating ROI, let's mention Alexandre Mattiussi for Ami Paris. Admittedly, the brand has fewer resources than luxury giant LVMH, which is omnipresent at Paris Fashion Week, if only through the three labels mentioned above.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Ami Paris – All rights reserved

Nonetheless, its backer, Sequoia Capital China (the Asian branch of the American fund that invested in Alibaba), enabled the label to bring together actress Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid), Hunter Doohan (the monster in Wednesday, sorry for the spoiler) and Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) in the front row, and to open the show with the actor Vincent Cassel. The artistic director stood out for his impeccable men's and women's wardrobe, inspired by the minimalism of the 90s.

Credits: MEN’S SS24 FASHION SHOW © Ami Paris – All rights reserved Vincent Cassel, Halle Bailey & Hunter Doohan

Unlike the Cannes Film Festival, there is no jury of professionals to reward emerging or independent designers, who are less visible but nevertheless in the majority, or those who best express major societal ambitions, such as environmental issues, which are completely overlooked during this event. It's up to the consumer to make up his or her own mind about the value a brand has, or doesn't have.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

Paris Fashion Week Men's