Tom Ford and Burberry's Decision to Show Now Buy Now Doesn't Mean Sh*t
News is out that Tom Ford won't be going down the runway for FW16 til September, instead selling to consumers directly after the show. Burberry's story is similar, deciding to show season-less gender-less styles twice a year for consumers to buy-now-wear-now.
There's movement between designers an retailers in major cities around the world to initiate an antiquated model in the industry and it makes me wonder how I as a sample room and manufacturer will be affected by this change.
Currently my clients are emerging contemporary designers selling ready-to-wear styles in the contemporary and designer market. They're mostly based in NY, showing and selling to NY retail stores both on the department store and boutique level. They're units per style when handing me a production run range from 20 - 50 units a style on average which is quite small considering they receive great press and rack space.
We develop 6 months before the season and begin production to deliver to stores 2 months before. I often complain that development and production delivery dates coincide in January and February, August and September, leaving behind crickets and listlessness the remainder of the year.
Can the show-now-buy-now model potentially stabilize this fu*ked fashion calendar while easing some pressure of the backs of my clients? As a relatively small sample room and production facility I can't say it will. Speaking on behalf of my clients who are mostly emerging brands with small wholesale orders or direct to consumer through e-commerce I can't say it will.
The development calendar will always remain 6 months ahead of season so that there's time to show buyers and make the shit for consumers to "wear-now" FOR that season. There's no way to magically show new styles and make on demand at the same time. It's not like majority of consumers follow or understand the fashion calendar ANYWAY. Consumers figure hell it's December, it's about time to buy a coat, or it's July, hey let's go buy a bathing suit. It's not that difficult to predict consumer behavior is it?
While consumers are becoming more and more educated about how their clothes are made and who exactly made them, as they become more exposed to the process and want to hear more stories through social media I'm hopeful for the day my factory is humming with work throughout the year with garments thoughtfully made for designers who communicate directly with their customers, their fans, their consumer.