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Gucci Announces Plans To Downsize Fashion Shows

It's a big change from such a historic brand.

Alessandro Michele is speaking out on Gucci's future, which only includes two fashion shows per year. The creative director announced his decision to downsize the luxury brand's participation in the fashion calendar, saying in a video news conference held on Monday, "We need new oxygen to allow this complex system to be reborn."

Many designers and fashion entities, including Dries Van Noten, Business of Fashion, the CFDA, and the British Fashion Council, have called for radical changes to the industry, including fewer fashion shows and more sustainable practices due to the global pandemic. However, Gucci, which has typically put on five fashion shows each year, including a now-canceled Cruise 2021 runway show that was scheduled take place in San Francisco in May, is the first major brand to commit to any changes, according to the New York Times.

Ahead of the news conference, Michele posted a letter to Instagram detailing his plans to move forward with Gucci after COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted and the fashion industry is able to return to work.

"I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call," he said. "We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms."

Although Gucci isn't the first to restructure its fashion week schedule — Saint Laurent will not be presenting any collections on pace with the 2020 fashion calendar; Alexander Wang has been following a pre-collection runway show schedule since 2018 — it's still a big change from a historic brand that will likely inspire other designers to follow suit.