2016 brought a lot of tragedies with it in the first month. The loss of people like David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey to name a few, Grace Coddington stepping down as Creative Director for Vogue, and Burberry changing the timeline of fashion consumption.
As a fashion communication student, I feel very uncomfortable with this change.
Now before you make any assumptions about my opinion, here me out.
The current timeline of presentation followed by production works because it benefits everyone involved in all parts of the process. The designer has time to plan and prep a collection, see what works and what doesn’t and put together a final collection for a seasonal show. The consumer has something to look forward to for the coming season. Fashion magazines and websites have content to promote through different mediums, and more specifically, Trend Forecasters have enough time to make predict different styles for the next season. There is a sense of desirability between the time consumers see the collection to when they actually where it.
With this changing model, everything goes into a tailspin of chaos. Fashion houses cannot produce garments fast enough. Since 2007, stores such as Neiman Marcus have been talking about how as great as fashion is, the demand is always a lot more than the actual supply. The See-Now-Buy-Now model works only partially. Consumers can place orders for pieces and the lucky few might actually be able to purchase garments immediately, but the rest would still have to wait to acquire these pieces. If this is the way high fashion is going to function, then what remains the difference between a regular high-street brand like H&M and a high fashion brand like Tom Ford, apart from the label? With the whole concept of ‘want now’ the expected speed of manufacturing would increase tremendously and that would impact quality of products.
How do brands plan to keep pace with all these external factors?