Fashion Week has been a staple in the Fashion industry ever since “Press week” took place in New York City in 1943. That week was orchestrated due to the American Fashion Media being unable to go to Paris, where the most Fashion shows took place at the time. Off course throughout the years many changes have affected the presentation of the latest fashions to the masses.
Currently there are major Fashion Weeks in various countries and regions throughout the world. Typically designers show their Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer shows in a specified time in the country of their origin. In the past, Fashion shows were catered to and attended by the designer’s clientele. But more recently these shows have taken a life of their own. Becoming a media frenzy. The actual people who purchase these garments are no longer given the treatment they deserve. Going from being seated in the front row to the very back or even not being invited at all is what’s relevant. The media and celebrities who do not contribute financially to the designer label are taking center stage.
Another slap in the face of these high-end customers is the wait time they have to endure until being able to get their hands on pieces they want. The usual time it takes for the attires and accessorizes to get produced for the masses is six month after their showing in the four major Fashion weeks them being Paris, New York, London and Milan. Which is ridiculous when you are willing to pay obscene amounts of money for them.
Obscene because not only do they cost a lot, but also since by the time they are available to purchase the same designer would have already shown his “newer” collection. Leaving the clients with the feeling that what they can buy now after waiting six month for it is already old since they have seen what the new season will bring. One could argue that it takes that long to produce quantities that large. Yet, another argument could be that they should plan ahead of time to avoid treating the people who actually keep them in business this way.
But that treatment is about to change
Prestigious designers have taken a stand against this. Them being Tom Ford, the House of Burberry which is lead by its chief creative officer, designer Christopher Bailey and Demn Gvasalia from the Vetements fashion brand have all made it clear they plan on overhauling the way they present their clients with new collections. By giving their consumers the respect they deserve. They will all adopt a “see-now-buy-now” business model with both men’s wear and women’s wear being showcased together and available for purchase the very next day online and in stores. Burberry has started developing this change back in 2010, when all the Fashion show pieces were made available for pre-order on their website after their Fashion shows for people to order.
Mr. Ford was quoted saying “Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will 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.”
If the former creative director of Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci’s vision becomes a reality, other designers will in no doubt jump on this new business plan. Leading to all sides of this industry being much more satisfied. Clients will get to wear the cloths they want right away and designers will make more revenue.
How would this affect this region of the world you might ask. And more importantly how will it affect the Kuwait Market? It will change a number of things. Starting with stores here having more fashion insight, since they will be receiving new collections before customers know what the designers new creations are. Sales people will not have to be asked if they will be receiving certain garments next season since customers will have no idea what to expect, until after it’s available to purchase. It will be so refreshing to walk into a store here and actually be surprised and delighted by the collections they have in stock. As opposed to the looks of confusion and shock sales people give when asked “What collection or season this item from?” or even “When will you be receiving this jacket that is in this picture I’m showing you”
However, and especially in the middle east, the Fashion industry has not been one to be able to keep secrets. Keeping the collections under wrap until its available to purchase could be a challenge. Social media will only make this task more difficult since a leak can easily happen. Which was the case last year when the H&M Balmain collection was leaked online before it was scheduled to be showcased.
These changes will take effect beginning this September, With designers Tom Ford, Burberry and Vetements.
By: Thari F. AlRashed