Tom Ford debuted last season’s womenswear collection via a video and this year he went a step further by cancelling his NYFW presentation and announcing that his AW16 collections will be shown in September instead, a time usually reserved for SS17. He has stated, ‘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‘.This will mean that the collections will be available in store and online the very same day as the show.
Vetements similarly has decided to move away from pre-season collections but has taken its new approach even further by scheduling their women’s and menswear collections together in June and January, in between the traditional timings for the men’s shows and the women’s couture shows.
Burberry (look from the latest Burberry collection pictured right) has adopted the model of two ‘seasonless’ collections per year, one in September and another in February, which will incorporate both women’s and menswear. The clothing shown will then be immediately available for purchase in store and online.
There have been scattered changes so far throughout the fashion industry but Burberry are the first to offer a complete overhaul. For instance, Moschino and Versace have been offering for sale capsule collections directly after their runway shows and Nautica made their AW16 collection available for purchase directly after NYFW.
However, it has to be said that not everyone agrees with this revamp. François-Henri Pinault, chief executive of the Kering group, has stated that the see-now-buy-now approach ‘negates the dream’ of luxury and that the six-month wait between a show and a collection’s availability creates desire.
What do you think? Are designers making the right choice by playing to today’s demands of instant gratification or are they simply ruining the image of exclusivity and luxury that they’ve spent decades cultivating?
By Sophie Lau