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Should Fashion Week Re-shift Season Focus?

Using the current Model, Fashion weeks in pretty much ALL MARKETS show clothing which won’t be available for months – typically showings are held approximately four or five months before pieces hit the market.  In other words, it has not caught up with social media.  And since every single fashion publication is on social, most of us have already seen complete collections by the time things hit stores and print.  So is it time to change things?

The answer is yes, according to many designers.  Just this month, Burberry announced it would be showing the spring/summer 2016 collection (what the New York Times calls a “see now, buy now” model) and Tom Ford cancelled his Fall/Winter show at New York Fashion Week.  The New York Times also published a piece wondering whether social media has “killed” the runway.

While I wouldn’t go as far as calling it murder, it IS showing that times have changed.  And fashion needs to change with it.  The fashion world is already years behind, according to many.  And if more brands DO shift to a see now/buy now model (but is it REALLY “buy now?”  Or “see now, order now, receive in a few weeks?”), would it be easier to have more size diversity, since many pieces would already be manufactured?  I mean, I WOULD like to see what something looks like on someone closer to my height on the runway!

Of course, the “new” (or more appropriately, the “beta”) model makes it difficult for buyers who NEED to see things more in advance.  Showing a fall collection in July or August won’t give them enough time to place orders.  Nor would it necessarily be all that great for print media.  Then again, print media is dying, albeit a slow death.  Perhaps a small studio showing for buyers and select media only (with a strict no phone and house photographer only policy) event would need to take place.  Models don’t even need to be used in this case to keep costs down (they can use mannequins/dress forms).  However, there might be an issue of cost for up-and-coming designers if any additional rentals are needed.  Plus it costs money to throw events (I’m sure buyers and the “limited” media would expect refreshments).  Not to mention time.

There isn’t an easy solution, though I would prefer the a “see now/order now/receive in a few weeks” version over the more “traditional” version that most designers still follow.  In fact, allowing consumers to order immediately and receive in a few weeks might even stop fast fashion brands from making THEIR version.


Image credit: Catwalk Photos /ShutterStock

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Should Fashion Week Re-shift Season Focus?


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