NYFW: “Show Now, Buy Now” Collections

What an interesting NYFW it was. This was the first time that a good number of designers opted to have their collections be “see now, buy now” and show their f/w 2016 collection during what is typically the s/s season for the following year. In other words, showing the season of clothing that actually corresponds to the season the collection is showing in – get it?!

Seems logical enough, and when you stop and think about it you might wonder why the international fashion weeks were ever not set up this way. Let’s consider two aspects of the industry: the creative side and the business side. Some say that in order for designers not to feel rushed to produce designs as if they were robots just churning out clothes, they need the 5-6 month time frame from runway to available-for-purchase that has been the model thus far, never mind the manufacturing element. However, with the emerging markets and instant availability that technology has provided, people are used to “see now, buy now” in many other commercial areas of our society so it would seem to make sense that fashion needs to jump on the train. The exclusivity of the shows has been challenged by low retail sales and the immediacy of social media. After all, if the standard fashion month calendar remains as is, that leaves a whole bunch of time for the knock offs to emerge, and considering the current financial difficulties that most of the world economies are grappling with, this means a certain portion of consumers will be buying the imitations because they’re A, cheaper and B, instantly available.

This isn’t to say that the creative process of clothing design can’t be finely & thoroughly expressed and then manufactured with the proposed “show now, buy now” model. No, in fact quite a few of the NYFW designers this season opted for it, names such as Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Thakoon, among others, as well as Michael Kors who took a hybrid approach. Burberry will also be making the switch with their upcoming show for London Fashion Week.

I happen to like the current model that I’ve been accustomed to, perhaps purely for nostalgic reasons. Although whatever works best for the designer’s artistic expression which ultimately is a massive part of what yields the equally important robust revenues, must be the deciding factors.

Claudia MasonComment