Within the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Fashion Department has emerged as one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world. Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela graduated from the Academy at the beginning of the 1980s, after which the fashion world and the international media showed great interest in avant-garde Antwerp fashion. Veronique Branquinho, A.F.Vandevorst, Christian Wijnants, Bruno Pieters, Haider Ackermann, Demna Gvasalia and many others contributed to the history of Antwerp fashion.
The annual, always surprising SHOW in June has become an indispensable tradition for 5000 fashion lovers, representatives of major fashion houses and other industry insiders. During the unpredictable and turbulent year 2020, there was no exception. Regardless of the circumstances, the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp succeeded in spotlighting the end-of-year collections of all its students in an innovative way.
Regardless of the state of the world, pandemic or not, all students at the Academy deserve the same opportunities and visibility as their predecessors, so that they can end their academic year as memorably as possible. The entire team of the Fashion Department wanted to explore new paths and got to work with their network of creative professionals to build a dynamic digital platform WWWSHOWW that became a true experience not only for the students but also for viewers from all over the world.
Fashion students showed their work on a virtual catwalk, which brought drawings, photos and videos to life by means of technical gadgets and different 'camera positions'. The nine graduating masters showed their collections not only in the digital environment. The public was given a hitherto unseen glimpse into the world of the young fashion masters: via the 'Blind Date video calls' they talked to fashion masters such as Raf Simons, Demna Gvasalia, Stephen Jones and Christian Lacroix about their collections and - as the icing on the cake - the Antwerp Handelsbeurs was transformed into the perfect setting for their inspiring 'grande finale'. This virtual fashion spectacle came about within the confines of the Antwerp Fashion Department. Conceived in a minimum of time and with a maximum of effort and creativity, the WWWSHOWW is an important experiment for the future.
The first WWWSHOWW was broadcast on Saturday 27 June 2020 and immediately reached 11.000 viewers from 80 different countries that same evening. In the meantime WWWSHOWW 2020 was streamed more than 50.000 times and the entire international press wrote about the innovative approach of the Antwerp fashion department. Watch HERE.
WWWSHOWW is an organization of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp - AP University College. The Academy would like to thank the City of Antwerp for its grant and its belief in this innovative project. Big thanks to Studio RGB for the digital platform.