NY based label and designer Rebecca Minkoff has exclusively confirmed that she will be doing things a little bit differently this upcoming New York Fashion Week in February. With a name that is becoming synonymous with smart sophistication, this new plan will appeal to her fashion conscious consumers and hopes to create further demand.
“The current fashion show system isn’t working.” – Rebecca Minkoff
The brand challenged the seasonal fashion calendar and she hopes that other designers will adapt this plan.
Rather than showing her new AW16 (Fall) collection (as is the usual way), Minkoff will present her already in stores SS16 (Summer) collection. This will then allow consumers to see the collection and immediately buy them afterwards. She admits that this will be what she calls “leap frog” season and is trying to find brand new ways to still make this show unique.
Granted, this is not the first time designers have challenged the seasonal fashion calendar. Just last week Thakoon announced a season-less business plan and Givenchy allowed the general public to its show this past NYFW. But Rebecca Minkoff combines these two approaches by showing products that are immediately available to buy, or will be within 30 to 45 days.
I personally love this idea and I hope many other designers adapt this. It makes more sense to show the collections that are ready to purchase straight after the show rather than waiting six months to get it. Would you really remember that designer dress that you saw in a fashion show a few months ago?
“What we’re showing is what’s available right then and within 30 to 60 days out, as well as a capsule of things you haven’t seen.”
The brand hopes that by switching up the schedule, the immediate hype, press, and social media that “comes out of a fashion show will generate into sales rather than hoping customers will remember and seek out a style six months later.”
The audience will consist of “top and everyday customers” of the brand alongside the usual retailers, buyers, editors and bloggers. This will attempt to bridge the gap between consumer and the brand. Perfect.
“What this model aims to do is get the consumer excited about retail again,” Minkoff says.
“Our customer is seeing the product at the same time as editors and influencers; by the time that the product has hit retail shelves six months later, they are over the item that they were coveting when it originally walked down the runway.”
Although, it must be said that the AW16 (fall) collection will still be shown in private appointments with editors/ buyers and won’t be shown publicly until September.
Neiman Marcus’s senior vice president and fashion director Ken Downing defends Minkoff’s plan. “The history of fashion shows was to show the buyers and the press the message of the season,” he explains to WWD. “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.”
I’m eager to find out the result of this concept and if other designers will follow suit. I personally hope so.