If you are used to a certain way the Fashion Week runway shows are done, you might want to get yourself ready for a few changes. It is not a concrete thing yet, but a few things are said to probably be considered doing differently, as the Council of Fashion Designers, also known as the CFDA, are deciding on a move that might be made to change the current fashion week system, a system they deem to be broken. The move is an interesting one to say the least and is garnered towards the consumer instead of the industry, which is rather refreshing to see on this end. After all, how many times have you had to go back to reports written months back to remember what was in style, figuring out what to shop for?
It can get tedious, and seeing pre-fall appearing when we have not even greeted spring at this pint rather gets annoying. There is also the fact that in February, while spring and summer have yet to hit, we see the coming fall and winter pieces and trends already. It is simply a little too much of a mixture in our brains and can really get frustrating for those of you who are extremely fashionable on a daily basis. As such, the new proposal is to have in-season collections presented that are already in stores. That might work well for most everyone, as it is easier to watch a show and see all the styles at once than go perusing through the stores, both virtually and physically.
The Boston Consulting Group has been brought on board to see whether or not such a move would be feasible in the game of fashion business, and they will be taking around 7 weeks to conduct the study, meaning that the February Fashion Week events are still in place, with nary a change made to scheduling due to this. Industry experts will be talked to and the decisions made accordingly. What brought this on though?
Remember how the spring/summer 2016 collections included a whole lot of tech, and in doing so also a whole lot of social media? Yeah, let us just say that the world is confused as to why they have to wait months on end, allowing the passion for the collection to fade, before they can get their hands on those exquisite features. “We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows. Something’s not right anymore because of social media, people are confused,” said Diane von Furstenberg, chairman of the CFDA. What is the point of putting something on Instagram only to tell people that they cannot have it for around half a year? As such, we expect that the BCG will agree that this move is the correct one to make, thus greatly increasing the productivity of the fashion industry.
The way things work right now, there are very few people who benefit. Those within the industry might see some good out of the shows – there was a reason for staging them in the first place – but it is the brands that are local and love to copy from the stars that are most worrisome and they stand to gain a profit. With this in mind, along with the realization that the world is moving forward at an abnormally fast pace, it more than makes sense to change the system. Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA has been looking into people’s opinions on the subject and there seems to be a near unanimous agreement on the need for change, with over 95% siding with the proposal.
The BCG will be looking into multiple things. One will be when to stage the shows exactly, not just in terms of seasons, but also in terms of months, switching to a January and June timeline instead. They will also be looking into the pre-collections and figuring out whether the mains should coincide with those. The pros and the cons will be evaluated, but at the end of the day they may come back and say no to the change.
It is all up in the air, which is probably why we should not get our hopes up. The BCG is one of the strongest in the market for what they do, with the BCG model taught around the world in leading business schools as a great way to do internal analyses of a company or industry. Seven weeks after the New Year, we can expect to have an answer that will be beneficial to everyone involved.
They might change the format, do a hybrid model or leave the same, but we can be sure that the final results can be trusted as the best possible answer to this dilemma the Fashion Week lovers are facing. It is the United States that seems to be leading this as well, though London and Italy are on board. With so much support, we would be disappointed to see BCG come up with a not-so-satisfying solution.
Of late, the companies in the fashion industry have been getting bolder as the market becomes more and more saturated, the need for creativity in terms of marketing becoming all the more apparent. This is why designers such as Rebecca Minkoff opt to show off their collections to a larger consumer audience instead of the typical celebrities and fashion icons, understanding that it is the average person that will be driving up the sales.
When a style has been beaten half to death on social media and worn often enough by the stars, it no longer holds much meaning these days. We do not just emulate all that we see but create our own looks and hope to be unique. It is crass and insensitive to take that away from the millennial populations. Plus, creating hype without catering to the demands of those willing to pay for the pieces is an absurd thought. Either social media shall be thrown out or sales will become a simultaneous event with shows that are captured on film and Tweeted, Snapped, Instagrammed, Pinned or Facebooked day in and day out during the Fashion Weeks.
The new Fashion Week system has not been fully worked out by CFDA yet, but there might be smaller initial showcasing of the products for the members of the fashion world, after which they would be put on show for the world to see when it is actually in season, gaining from the positive benefits of social media as best they can. We cannot wait to see the outcome of these experiments and interviews, hoping against hope that this aspect of the industry also decides to follow suit with its designers and catch up to the 21st century!
Photo courtesy of Vogue