NYFW Might Be In For A Big Shakeup
Social media has been boosting the love for New York Fashion Week, but don’t be fooled by the eighty million likes—the fashion industry is actually hurting. The problem is that the clothing being strutted down the catwalk in is not available to us at the pace we want to see it—ASAP. If you’re one of the lucky people (#blessed) to get into the season’s fashion show and you plan to spend half your rent on the dress you couldn’t take your eyes off of, you probably won’t even find it available on the retailer’s site. The brand isn’t ready to produce and sell their items from the show, which leaves the consumers a little confused. When their clothing is finally available, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and both of their moms have probably already worn it, inevitably causing others to copycat the look. This has turned fashion shows into more of an entertainment experience, like the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, rather than what the designers had intended it to be, a consumer-based experience.
The majority of the fashion community seems to all agree on the same thing—that they should make the clothing debuted during the show available for the buyer sooner than what it is now, which is about six months. Can you imagine having one item from your favorite shopping site on backorder for six months? No thank you.
The CFDA wants to change the secluded feeling shoppers have, and create a more consumer-driven industry. In doing so, they’ve hired the Boston Consulting Group to conduct a study, testing the possible solutions and how this all could pan out. The goal is to completely reboot the industry in a way that would make the clothing accessible to the public, which would create a more accurate tone for each season, and then boost profits for the designers. This could completely change how fashion week is played out in future shows.
There are a few solutions to making this of all possible. There could be limited showroom appointments made for press and potential buyers in advance of the show. This would determine the amount of orders the brand should have ready for the live show that would take place months later, but only the select group of buyers would then be invited. Then there’s the idea to switch around the seasons from their usual time of debut. Fall fashion could premiere in September and spring could be held in February. The calendar for women’s fashion shows could shift completely.
But let’s not get carried away. The BCG may not even change a thing. If these theories don’t improve the system, then there’d be no point in fixing it. There are a few designers who have rightfully had enough, and are independently taking a stand to change how their clothing is going to be sold. There are multiple outcomes that could result in BCG’s study, but people want to see a change in the system that has been deemed broken.
Diane von Furstenberg, chairman of the CDFA, can’t give us all of the answers we want, but she’s pushing for a change in the world of fashion. So, we’re still a little left in the dark about what’s to come, but the shows for February are still on—social media and all. These ideas are still just ideas and changes will not be ready any time soon. We’re willing to pay for that fresh “now” look, buyers remorse and all, and designers are willing to give it to us.
Photo by Christine Hahn