Banana Republic will be releasing six pieces for sale from their next NYFW collection on Feb. 13, the moment the event begins. The brand debuted at Fashion Week in fall 2015, and is now taking steps to integrate itself into the ever-changing industry.
Despite the impending reevaluation of New York Fashion Week by the CFDA, many brands have made their own plans to capitalize on the success of their fall 2016 shows in February. It seems the talk of change has sparked some innovation among designers, such as Rebecca Minkoff’s new format strategy, of a “fully immersive fashion show,” which promises to ensnare all who are involved.
And of course there’s Banana Republic, which is relatively new to Fashion Week, that plans to create a real-time shopping experience for the coming season. The brand’s collection will walk beginning on Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET, which is the same time the six pieces are set to become available on Banana Republic’s website. According to a brand representative, prices are expected to be within the standard price range for the brand, but the final details are still being worked out.
The idea of real-time shopping isn’t new to Fashion Week, as Burberry was the first brand to use a similar tactic for fall 2010, when the apparel was available directly after the line walked the runway. Another constraint to this past attempt was the six to eight week waiting period customers had before their orders could be fulfilled.
Since then, however, other brands like Jeremy Scott for Moschino (beginning in fall 2014), Anthony Vaccarello for Versus Versace (spring and fall 2015), House of Holland, and BCBG have used some form of the instant collection concept, but it’s more uncommon for retailers of the same price range or size of Banana Republic to make such a move. So, Banana Republic’s runway promise is totally exciting, but not without precedent.
H&M’s collaborations with different designers, like the most recent and successful with Balmain, have created a great deal of revenue with their campaigning, and Kohl’s featured Lauren Conrad’s brand on the heightened stage of New York Fashion Week, complete with a livestream shopping experience. The presentations for each brand, however, were only a small part of a larger corporation. Banana Republic, on the other hand, now uses its runway shows to showcase the apparel offered for the entire season to come.
Banana Republic has Marissa Webb to thank for where they are now in the media. Webb prodded the brand to become part of the Fashion Week calendar, with the goal of giving the brand a “cool factor,” a much-needed amplifier to bring in a wider customer base for the classic brand. This newfound coverage at Fashion Week has the brand expecting immediate sales following the runway, which also shows that executives at the company are confident their real-time shopping experience will be a hit.
This could prove to be a groundbreaking venture for retailers on the Fashion Week roster. If all goes well this season, we’ll no doubt see others taking up similar approaches.
Photo courtesy of The Gloss