If there is one word to describe our current culture is speed. Speed is essencial and we demand it in every aspect of our lives. We want fast results, fast communications, fast fashion, fast news, fast relationships. We are no longer able to wait, to have patience and to persevere, if our goals are not reached in the immeadiate moment that we set them. This fast passed way of living is the enemy of creative development and this is takind its toll on fashion business, it is showing signs of wear. Talented designers are succumbing to the pressures of time and the demand for more and more. Where as before you had two clearly distincts seasons (Fall/Winter and Spring Summer) now, with this new global order, you have:
January – S/S Haute Couture Shows in Paris
February – S/S Ready-To-Wear collections in store
March – A/W Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris
April – Preparation for the next collection
May – Pre-Fall collections in store
June – Resort/Cruise collection showings
July – A/W Haute Couture Shows in Paris
August – A/W Ready-To-Wear collections in store
September – S/S Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris
October – Preparation for the next collection
November – Resort/Cruise collections in store
December – Pre-Fall collection showing
Do you feel tired after looking at this calendar because I do… No matter how big your company is it’s difficult to assure that in so little time you have product to show that is coherent with the spirit of your brand. “Fast fashion” is no longer an exclusive pun of the Zara’s of this world, every segment of the fashion business, from luxury to high street, is now “Fast Fashion”.
For more on this subject you can reed this article from the BOF – “HOW TO FIX THE FASHION SYSTEM”.
In the light of this new system that is taking shape Tom Ford and Burberry made significant changes in their collections calendar.
In the statement announcing the calendar change Tom Ford explained that: “In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to consumers is an antiquated idea and one that could no longer makes sense,(…) We spend an enormous amount of money and energy to stage an event that creates excitement too far in advance of when the collection is available to the consumer. Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will remedy this, and allow the excitement that is created by a show or event to drive sales and satisfy our customers’ increasing desire to have their clothes as they are ready to wear them.”
Burberry was actually the first to announce (last friday, 5th February) a new strategy for their presentations. Taking an ever bigger step towards adjusting to this new era, they announced that they would be presenting only two collections a year, these collections will be seasonless, refered only as “February” and “September”, and combine Men and Womens lines. They also decided to merge all of their different brands “Prorsum”, “London” and “Brit” into a single brand – “Burberry”. The goal is to connect consumers to the products as soon as they are released, in this “social media era” intermediaries are no longer necessary or wanted.
I can’t help but wonder:
Are we ready for a seasonless season? How is zara going to cope with so little time to copy designers work? How will our mothers adjust to not having winter jeans and summer jeans and just having jeans?
No answers for now.