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Austin Fashion Week goes virtual in the wake of COVID-19

A model walks during the fall 2019 Nefrfreshr show at Austin Fashion Week.

Austin Fashion Week is taking a page out New York Fashion Week's book and going online this year. After all, if New York Fashion Week can survive online showcases, why can't Austin's?

After repeated postponements from April to May and yet again to August, Austin Fashion Week has decided on a three-day "series of live virtual events to support the global fashion community" in October.

Fashion by Texas founder Matt Swinney said Austin Fashion Week will be put on by Fashion by Events this year, with a Fashion by Texas show on Oct. 15, a Fashion by Black Designers show on Oct. 16 and a 24-hour Fashion by Global event on Oct. 17.

Though the Fashion by Texas segment has already reached capacity, applications for Fashion by Black Designers and Fashion by Global are still being accepted.

While many individual designers will film their virtual showcases from their own spaces, Swinney said there will be an in-person show filmed in advance without an audience at the Domain. The setup will allow for interviews and backstage segments.

There are risks associated with putting on a virtual event. Each showcase is likely to look very different from the next because they are being filmed independently, and organizers aren't sure how much people will be willing to pay for tickets.

For that reason, ticket prices are set on a "pay what you can" donation basis. Each ticket admits you into all three days of events.

Despite the risks, an online showcase allows for an infinite number of viewers and loosens time restrictions. Swinney said if the virtual fashion week is successful, it could open up new possibilities for content in the future of Austin Fashion Week.

The full schedule has yet to be announced but the current schedule can be viewed here and tickets can be purchased here.

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