March 13, 2017
Italian fashion label Etro is the latest house to bring its men’s and women’s wear together on the runway.
According to Vogue, from the brand’s spring/summer 2018 collection presented in September will be the first co-ed show for the family-run business. With this move, Etro joins a growing number of houses that are presenting a unified vision for a season regardless of gender.
Etro follows a long list of brands that have opted for a single fashion show over two presentations.
Burberry made the move along with its revised runway show calendar last year, while Gucci’s Alessandro Michele opted for a dual gendered runway show beginning this year. Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier also changed with the times, with its first co-ed show less than a month ago.
For his debut collection as creative director of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons also showed men's and women's wear together.
Unlike these other brands, Etro’s men’s and women’s wear do not share a creative director. Kean Etro heads up Etro Man, while his sister Veronica Etro heads up the women’s line.
Etro's fall/winter 2016 campaign
While bringing together the work of two designers, Etro sees this as an opportunity for further branding and storytelling. This follows the idea of the brand's ad campaigns, which typically present a united front, commingling models in a common theme.
Joining men's and women's wear on the runway is just one way that brands are working to rewrite the runway show, a marketing tool that to some is losing its impact.
Last year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America released a report about the role of New York Fashion Week that spotlights the industry-wide agreement on a need for change.
In the report, conducted in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, the CFDA does not endorse a single solution, but rather lays out a number of possible answers identified by designers, media and retailers. As the fashion ecosystem searches for “in-season relevancy,” each brand will need to decide for itself which updated format is best for them (see story).