Christophe Josse cancels Paris haute couture show “due to strikes”

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Nicola Mira
Jan 14, 2020
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On Monday, French designer Christophe Josse announced he is cancelling the presentation of his haute couture collection, due to the strikes which have been disrupting transport in the Paris region since early December.

Archive picture / Reuters / Charles Platiau

In a press release, Josse mentioned the problems caused by “extensive social upheaval in recent months,” and the “delays which are incompatible with the completion and realisation” of his collection, which was initially due to be presented on January 23.

The widespread strikes triggered in France by the proposed pension reform have been raging for six weeks, with a heavy impact on traffic in the French capital, home since Tuesday of the Paris Fashion Week Men’s, dedicated to the menswear collections by labels like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton among others. The Paris Haute couture week is then due to follow, from January 20 to 23, featuring on its calendar names like Dior, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Valentino, as well as smaller labels like Stéphane Rolland and Franck Sorbier. Smaller houses are more likely to be affected by the strikes, which notably delay deliveries and impact on artisanal haute couture collections, which are entirely hand-made.

“This has a devastating impact on logistics, for example, hauliers are reluctant when it comes to shipping chairs to catwalk venues,” a spokesperson for Franck Sorbier told Reuters.

On Monday, there was still uncertainty as to whether the demonstrations would end, two days after a “compromise” was found with reformist trade unions on the pivot age issue, leading French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to call for an end to the strikes.

To be ready for any eventuality, the French Fashion and Haute couture Federation, which organises the Paris ready-to-wear and couture weeks, decided to double the number of shuttles ferrying media and guests to the catwalk show venues, located in different parts of the city.

The Paris fashion weeks, with their often lavish parties, bring thousands of people from around the world to the French capital, and play a significant role in the city’s economy. The French Fashion Federation estimates that a revenue of €1.2 billion is generated annually by these events.

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