Cruise shows, a successful model
Cruise collections, Pre-Spring, Resort collection... Whatever their name, these highlights of the fashion calendar are more than ever in vogue. Between invitations to escape and creativity, powerful communication strategy and financial profitability, analysis of these "inter-season" shows, real spearheads of the great luxury houses.
Cruise shows: what are we talking about?
Originally intended for wealthy customers for their winter vacations on ocean liners, these wardrobes were designed to adapt and offer light, more casual pieces with evocative prints, imagined for seaside walks and sunny destinations. Jean Patou and Coco Chanel were the forerunners of these summer silhouettes and their cruise collections were a great success.
Invitations to travel and impactful communication
More strategic than ever for the luxury industry, cruise shows are great tools for communication and storytelling.
Indeed, presented at the quietest time of the year for fashion (May-June), they are creative grounds out of the ordinary, allowing art directors to celebrate a particular aesthetic and develop their creativity in connection with the theme of the show. Surprising and marking the spirits is one of the challenges of these unique collections.
Making a mark is exactly what Dior recently did by holding its cruise 2023 show in Seville, under the creative leadership of Maria Grazia Chuiri. After Athens, it was here an ode to Andalusian know-how and pieces infused with symbolism as a tribute to Spanish culture that were presented. This highly anticipated and well attended fashion show brought together no less than 60 dancers, an orchestra and over 100 models on the iconic Plaza de España in Seville. As confirmed by Thibaut de La Rivière, Director of Sup de Luxe: "True visual and creative immersions, these transitory shows are very important, especially in a communication strategy where the weight of digital distribution and content creation are so strong."
Gucci's latest cruise show took place in Puglia, Italy, in the heart of a historic 13th century Unesco heritage castle. As night fell, Alessandro Michele paraded his silhouettes in a mystical atmosphere, between 70s references and cosmic inspiration under the amazed eye of fashion professionals, media and influencers from around the world. Moreover, it is clear that these highlights are also an opportunity for brands to offer more "wearable" and sometimes more accessible pieces (a major challenge for luxury) embodying a subtle mid-season transition between the permanent collections.
A high profitability and extended commercial availability
In addition to the creative experience and visibility that such shows offer, their financial profitability also makes them an element not to be overlooked.
Indeed, these highly saleable pre-collections are marketed for 6 to 8 months (a unique availability in the fashion industry) and represent an important part of the brands' turnover. Far from the 20's when these collections were reserved for "vacations" with almost exclusively summer pieces, today the clothes presented are to be worn all year round, while bringing a more "casual" touch. On the other hand, they are also a way to capture an international clientele living in hot countries thanks to more adapted pieces with evocative inspirations. With a seductive and unifying storytelling, a strong media impact, more accessible models and a wider commercial availability, cruise collections seem to have a bright future ahead of them...