Call for an urgent change in the current fashion week model

New York Fashion week is about to witness some major changes. The show will begin in February 2016, but it is already planned that major changes will be implemented in the show. The clichéd model of the fashion show is about to change. Rebecca Minkoff announced that it will show a consumer facing fashion show for the first time. Fifty percent of the audience will consist of consumers, and models will wear the Spring 2016 collection. The collection is currently in stores. The tradition to date has been that the designers show their collection six months in advance. The Fall 2016 collection is sent down the runway in February. Minkoff says that it’s a dying model, and therefore they have decided to change.


Reasons that call for a change

The Boston Consulting Group recently commissioned a study about why the consumer facing fashion week is a right step. Here are some of the reasons mentioned.

Elimination of consumer fatigue:

A fashion house in the end thrives on business. Reviews do not run a company, and therefore fashion houses need to understand how the current model is negatively impacting sales. Due to the current model, customers are bombarded with product images six months earlier. By the time the collection hits the stores, consumer fatigue sets in. Consumers wish to buy designsas they are shown on the runway and not six months later.

According to Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus, “The history of fashion shows was to show the buyers and the press the message of the season. But technology has utterly changed everything in our industry. That customer continues to follow Instagram and Twitter and watches the live-stream of fashion shows. When they are seeing clothes, they are less aware of seasons. What they are seeing, they want.”

Direct engagement with the customers:

Givenchy’s Spring 2016 show made a revolutionary change by inviting the real public to the show. 820 seats were given to the public to view the new collection alongside Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. Consumers have been enjoying the recent access they have been given to Fashion Week. Social Media posts and contests have made it easier for the ultimate consumer. Brands should now try to give them more importance and offer better seats. This will generate more revenue for the brands.

Clothes will be more visible to the editors:

Most editors and buyers find it difficult to focus on fashion during a fashion week.The spectacle makes sense and creates visibility, but for buyers looking for business, it becomes a huge distraction. The new model will shift the focus back to clothes.

Fashion week will lead to more business

More Diversity:

A consumer focused fashion week will bring in more diversity. Brands are planning to appeal to consumers. They will focus on casting models of multicultural customers. They also won’t have to rely on sample sizes that only fit ultra slim models.

No more copycats:

Diane von Furstenberg said, “The only people who benefit [from the current model] are the people who copy.” Fast fashion brands copy the trends and release them in the markets before the designers display it in the stores. The new fashion week system will let consumers have original designs rather than the rip-offs.

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