Saint Laurent
Credit: Saint Laurent

In 2020, I’ve become accustomed to watching fashion week from the comfort of bed with a glass of cheap wine close by. It is a stark difference to just 12 months ago when at this time, Milan Fashion Week was teeming with industry guests, celebrities and the world’s most lauded designers. Amid the health crisis, the fashion industry has been forced to adapt to a new world. But just after six to nine months under some sort of restrictions, it is Saint Laurent who has proved to nail the virtual platform phenomenon, according to new data.

Following its departure from the fashion week calendar just month’s prior, Saint Laurent unveiled Spring/Summer 2021 Men’s two weeks ago, via a captivating six-minute video which ended with a runway supposedly on top of the Eiffel Tower. It was fashion, made thrilling. New data from the French house reports that since Friday, September 18, the video has garnered 42.4 million global views and an engagement of over eight million according to the Kering Group.

As first reported by WWD, the video which was directed by Nathalie Canguilhem, the collection designed by Anthony Varcarello, was seen 17 million times on YouTube, 5.6 million on Instagram and Facebook and 5.6 million on TikTok. While there isn’t much data to compare it to, the first online editions of Paris Couture Week and Paris Men’s Fashion Week in July, attracted a combined audience totalling 19.4 million views.

Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent Men’s Spring/Summer 2021

Dior has said it gained 100 million views for its collections in July, across its haute couture film, men’s show, cruise collection and runway in Shanghai. The Kim Jones men’s show alone garnered a huge 23 million views.

So what tendered to Saint Laurent’s success? A number of factors could be involved including a large influencer campaign whereby key friends of the house were gifted and posted images of the hotly-coveted Hawaiian shirt, while billboards advertising the show were taken out in New York and Los Angeles as was posters in Paris and Tokyo. In addition the music playlist was created by Sebastian while augmented reality was used to create a highly entertaining cinematic experience. In addition it could be argued that after stepping away from the fashion week calendar, i freed up viewers time and attention solely for Saint Laurent.

It follows the same vein as Louis Vuitton Men’s by Virgil Abloh which said its colourful and quirky runway in Shanghai garnered 100 million views worldwide in August, though that was mainly on Chinese platforms.

Will the forthcoming Milan Fashion Week be just as successful? Stay tuned.