How Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week is going digital

While there’s nothing quite like the drama of a physical runway show, this year’s pre-recorded shows are taking place on “a spectacular stage more than 400 sqm in size, with LED screens seven metres high and more than 20 metres wide”. The parades were also designed by La Fura dels Baus, the theatre company which produced the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 

“The brides of the future are more sensitive to ethical fashion and are more aware of the importance of the sustainability of the products they buy,” said Ester Maria Laruccia, event director.

“The catwalk will thus provide a revolutionary and innovative staging that will be more reminiscent of an interactive ‘fashion performance’ than a traditional parade,” Laruccia explained.

According to Laruccia, the event’s digital platform was created with the aim of connecting guests with brands through online showrooms, chat and video conferences and scheduling appointments. Buyers and influencers can access content tailored to their interests, discover new designers and browse through collections via a dedicated app, accessible via mobile, tablet or laptop.

“The future brides will be able to make comments and indicate their preferences to companies, thus helping them in their decision-making with regard to the products and businesses,” Laruccia said.

Meanwhile, the digital showroom will feature designs and collections from close to a hundred local and international brands, who will be able to directly contact buyers, distributors and retailers from all over the world. The trade show will operate until mid-October to help brands and buyers to connect and generate business.

“We’ll continue to maintain the digital application in future years, even when we’re physically able to organise the event again at Fira de Barcelona, because we don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to continue our online contact with all the sector’s professionals from all over the world, future brides and fashion lovers, in general and on a global scale,” said Laruccia.

This year’s catwalk will be pre-recorded on a stage more than 400sqm in size with LED screens 7 metres high and more than 20 metres wide.

Scaling back on carbon footprint

Not only does a digital platform like VBBFW offer brands greater access to global buyers, it is also far more sustainable than organising a physical event.

“Our mission as an international event is not only to support the bridal fashion sector as a commercial and communication platform, particularly during this difficult period of time, but also to put on a show that’s committed to people and the environment, ratifying the event’s commitment to sustainability, the protection of integration and respect for diversity, in order to achieve ‘a better world’,” Laruccia said.

“In other words, one that is more ethical and in keeping with the development of our consciences as human beings and consumers.”

The fashion industry is well-known as being one of the greatest polluters on the planet. According to the Zero to Market study, conducted by Ordre.com in collaboration with Carbon Trust, the fashion industry’s environmental impact is quite high, given the amount of business travel associated with designers and buyers attending international fashion weeks as part of the industry’s core buying process. Use of unsustainable materials and poor production practices by some designers have also cast a shadow on the industry.

Pronovias, Cymbeline Paris and The Atelier (the Malaysian brand run by Jimmy Choo) are some of the brands lined-up for the event.

The study revealed that the total emissions of the travel associated with the wholesale fashion buying process is at 241,000 tonnes CO2 emissions, and the total cost of travel associated with it is at $1.4 billion.

“Sustainability is not a passing fad. It is something that’s come to stay and brands and buyers are going to take it very much into account in the future. In Western Europe, consumers are expected to accelerate the demand for sustainable clothing,” she said.

“The brides of the future are more sensitive to ethical fashion and are more aware of the importance of the sustainability of the products they buy.”