Cover Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello (Image: Loic Venance/AFP)

The French luxury brand has decided to take control of its pace in the fashion world

Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan

French luxury label Saint Laurent said Monday that it was pulling out of Paris fashion week for the rest of the year, in a move widely seen as a blow against the frenetic fashion calendar seen by many as unsustainable.

With this strategy firmly in place, Saint Laurent announced in a statement on Tuesday that it will not present its collections in any of the pre-set schedules of 2020. The maison added that it "will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity".

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Creative director Anthony Vaccarello stated that the decision was made based on “the current circumstance and its waves of radical change.”

"Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule," said the Belgian-born designer in an Instagram post, with the Eiffel Tower, the traditional backdrop to its shows, in the background.

"Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm," Vaccarello added. 

Paris men's and haute couture fashion weeks at the end of June and the beginning of July had already fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic, but Saint Laurent will now also not take part in the women's runway shows, which sprawl over a fortnight in September.

Vaccarello's decision comes after veteran Italian designer Giorgio Armani said last week that it was time to "cut out the superfluous" in fashion and rein in its gruelling schedule. 

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"The times that we are living in are turbulent, but they give us a unique chance to see what is not working, to cut out the superfluous, and find a more human dimension to it," the legendary creator wrote in a letter to Jetset magazine last month.

"That is perhaps the most important lesson of this crisis," he added.

Vaccarello's post drew strong support on Instagram from influencers and fashion followers.

“This season, I want to present a collection when I am ready to show it,” Vaccarello said in an interview with WWD.

Campaigners have long accused the fashion industry of wasteful overproduction, with creators themselves often complaining that they were being burned out by the demands of six or more collections a year. Saint Laurent is the first brand to depart the traditional fashion calendar due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. London Fashion Week has also opted to go entirely online with merged shows for men's and women's wear in June.