Christian Dior to stage Cruise 2021 show in Italy without an audience

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of Dior’s original show date of May 27. However, Christian Dior is taking steps to bring some sense of normalcy back to the fashion calendar. The French brand’s Cruise 2021 will be presented on a live runway staged at Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, but with no audience, in Italy on July 22.

On Monday, Pietro Beccari, CEO and president of Dior, co-hosted a virtual press conference with artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri to share the news of the Paris house’s cruise plans. The brand also announced that it plans to stick with the established fashion calendar.

Christian Dior’s show will follow all the social distancing rules in effect in the Puglia region of Italy, meaning it will not be watched by a public audience. However, it was reported that the show will be open for viewing to friends and family of the brand in person. The rest of the guests will view it via livestream.

Commenting on the recent announcement, Beccari explained, “We would like to send a message of support, hope, and rebirth to the world; to the big suppliers and the small ones. Many still don’t know how to survive, so this move is so important for the artisans that we need to preserve. We want to give them a reason to restart,” He further added, “We believe this occasion will be auspicious for the future, a good incentive to carry on with a certain optimism.”
Moreover, for Dior, getting back to f business as usual is essential for the financial stability of its employees. “Fashion Week is important not only for the fashion family, it’s also important for the cities where the fashion shows [take place],” added the brand’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The French fashion house is the first major luxury brand to host a virtual runway for a seasonal collection to members of the press and retailers since the coronavirus outbreak. Other labels, including Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, and Saint Laurent, are forgoing presentations altogether for the fall 2021 season. Likewise, Gucci has decided to host only two shows a year, Chanel presented its cruise collection via look book, and Burberry announced its own virtual show.

By Natalie Reppas