We’ve been hearing lots of talk recently about designers wanting to make the move into a more consumer-based showing for Fashion Week, but now it seems we’re in for more than rumors. Tom Ford and Burberry have both made announcements that their September men’s and women’s runway shows will have a see-now-buy-immediately system. All of Ford’s press preview for his fall 2016 collection have been called off, and instead will be shown and offered for purchase in September.
“In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers is an antiquated idea of one that no longer makes sense,” said Ford in an official release. “Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available. . . Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will help 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 definitely touches on some of the more common feelings associated upon the release of a preview. If someone sees a to-die-for dress, they’ll be waiting the next seven months in anticipation until they can purchase it come September. So now instead of having to wait for our favorite looks to hit stores, we get them when we see them. Plus, this whole operation does help sate our world’s burning desire to progress further into the digital age.
We’ve come to expect a lot of innovation from Burberry, as ever since Christopher Bailey joined on as CEO and CCO there has been a continuous stream of surprises, such as the release of the interactive video experience with Google. So hearing that Burberry would be using a consumer-oriented method for the purchase of products as they are released wasn’t quite as surprising as hearing about Ford’s like-decision. Bailey’s transition for the brand has been in the works since around 2009, and he talked to WWD about his reasoning behind this remarkable new length in the fashion world.
“You can’t talk to a customer and say, ‘We’re really excited, we’re going to stimulate you and inspire you, but you can’t touch it or feel it for another six months.’ In fashion we talk about ‘a moment,’ and what feels right for the moment. And I’ve always battled with that because the moment is when you’re showing it, but then you’ve got to kind of say is it the right moment five or six months down the line? I just struggled with it. So it’s just trying to say to the customers: ‘You’re really important to us. We’re serving you and we need to change our ways rather than expect you to do these things.’”
The decision to make the purchasing immediate is industry-altering, and when Burberry says the sales will be immediate, it means it. The moment the runway show concludes, the window displays at the brand’s stores will change, as well as the campaigns. “Go big or go home” seems to be the clear mantra for the brand, and so far it has been a leader for others when it comes to innovation.
After the numbers are crunched in September, it would be surprising if other top-name brands don’t adopt a similar approach. This may prove too difficult for some, as it might be hard to gauge how much demand there will be for each item, although customers are used to waiting – they might just have to be put on a waiting list if it comes down to it. There’s no telling what this will entail for the future of the fashion industry, but we’ll definitely find out come September.
Photo courtesy of Vogue