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Paris Fashion Week 2023: history, locations and dates

Paris Fashion Week 2023: history, locations and dates

What is Fashion Week?

Fashion Week dates back to the 19th century, at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Paul Poiret and Charles Frederick Worth, two of Paris's leading fashion designers, were at the origin of the event. Their idea was to present their creations to the public on live mannequins. In this way, social evenings were transformed into performances.

These events were so successful that the Chambre Syndicale de Haute Couture, now known as the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, was created in 1868, with the aim of developing the fashion industry.

The United States promoted American fashion during the Second World War. The true forerunner of Fashion Week was created in New York in 1943.

It was known as Press Week, an event launched by Eleanor Lambert, a fashion and contemporary art journalist. She invited all the New York designers to parade at the Plaza Hotel in front of the press gathered for the occasion. Press Weeks were institutionalised in 1950.

Following the American success, Italy also launched its own fashion week in 1958. The event was first held in Florence before moving to Milan. In 1984, London joined the adventure, forming the "Big Four" with Paris, New York and Milan.

The first Paris Fashion Week, as we know it today, took place in 1973. Givenchy, Dior, Cardin, Saint-Laurent and Ungaro were the first Haute Couture houses to take part.

In the 1980s, President François Mitterrand wanted to put France back at the forefront of the international scene. Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture, used fashion to promote the French art of living. Paris became the capital of fashion again. The Minister once again established Fashion Week and supported young designers.

A breath of fresh air blew through the fashion world. New designers emerged and livened up the catwalks. Fashion houses joined forces with the elitist, avant-garde world of art. Many fashion shows were held in Paris museums.

For 10 years, the square courtyard of the Louvre hosted all the Paris fashion shows. Over the years, Haute Couture brands have taken over the most emblematic venues in Paris for their shows.

Where does Paris Fashion Week take place?

Fashion Week always takes place in prestigious venues in Paris, depending on the wishes of the brands and designers. Chanel regularly holds its show at the Grand Palais. Christian Dior Couture takes over the Rodin Museum. Louis Vuitton's playground is the Louvre.

When does Paris Fashion Week take place?

Paris Fashion Week is divided into three categories, each with two shows a year (one for the Spring/Summer collections and one for the Autumn/Winter collections):

  • Menswear in January and June;
  • Womenswear in March and September;
  • Haute Couture Week in January and July.

The official calendar is determined by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 will be held from Monday 25 September to Tuesday 3 October 2023.


Continue your discovery of Paris through the prism of fashion with our one-hour guided walking tour "Paris, capital of fashion" with the Tootwalk feature, available on the Tootbus app.