EXCLUSIVE: Y/Project Cancels Paris Fashion Week Runway Show Citing ‘Uncertain Times’

TIME OUT: Citing “uncertain times,” Y/Project has decided to sit out this runway season to focus on internal investments, underscoring the tough landscape for small and mid-sized brands navigating the slowdown in luxury spending.

The brand was initially slated to show its fall 2024 collection on March 3 at 7 p.m., according to the provisional schedule for Paris Fashion Week published by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s organizing body.

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Instead, it will showcase the collection through a look book, Y/Project said Thursday in a statement provided exclusively to WWD.

“This strategic shift reflects Y/Project’s commitment to prioritizing investments in the growth of the company, its teams, and its product offerings. By reallocating resources, the brand aims to promote Y/Project in the most effective manner possible,” the brand said.

Y/Project has won a cult following with its trademark twisted constructions and collaborations with brands including Brazilian footwear label Melissa and Jean Paul Gaultier. Celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner have sported its designs.

Chief executive officer Pascal Conte-Jodra last year revealed plans to double the number of doors and ramp up its fledgling accessories business, possibly with the help of a new investor.

But like other independent brands, the label must optimize cash flow in the face of continued supply chain disruptions and a chaotic retail climate, particularly for online platforms.

“We believe this decision is a rational response to the current environment, demonstrating our prudence and foresight,” Conte-Jodra said in the statement. “While we recognize the importance of traditional fashion shows, we are confident that this alternative approach aligns best with our goals for the season.”

The executive steers the brand’s strategy with Glenn Martens, creative director since 2013, who also doubles as the designer for Diesel. Underscoring their commitment, both hold an undisclosed amount of shares in the company and are members of the board.

Gilles Elalouf, the former advertising executive who founded the label in 2011 with the late Yohan Serfaty, is president of the board of shareholders.

While declining to comment further on the reasons for canceling its physical runway show, Y/Project said it “remains dedicated to transparency and openness in its communications with stakeholders. This decision underscores the brand’s commitment to navigating uncertain times with clarity and purpose.”

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