There are no delays, only queues to be the quickest one. We live in a way where brands don´t decide when they sale, it’s the consumer who establishes when to buy. There isn’t tomorrow, only NOW, and the only words that exist in fashion are immediate, fast and available.
We have recently seen a huge change in the Fashion industry, a format called “see now, buy now” where well-known brands such as Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger or even Ralph Lauren, who surprised us a few days ago, by releasing what we saw in the NYFW catwalk straight away. This new model of business, that we saw last season when Matthew Williamson launched his first “see now, buy now” collection (WWD, 2016), where it took on a new strategy in terms of sales focused directly on the consumer. Designers are creating collections that they can sell in stores 2 seconds after showing the pieces on the catwalk.
In the current fashion industry where everything is fast paced and the offer is bigger than the demand, brands have to change their strategy to achieve success over their competitors. If we analyse the pyramid of fashion we can appreciate how Luxury crossed the line into High Street retailers in order to cut time and sell more. Luxury brands are more aware of customer’s needs, they make the most of the time creating middle-seasons, capsule collections and pre-collections, they also collaborate with High Street retailers, H&M is the biggest player in this game. It was time for a change, a revolutionary step in the development of the industry.
The question is: How is this going to affect Fashion? A lot and at all levels. The priority is how quick the brands are. Time plays a really important role, they have to understand the consumers’ needs and the clothes have to be on time in the stores, otherwise they lose the opportunity to sell them. The catwalk is no longer “a show to show”, it is now a show to sell.
On the other hand, this “see now, buy now“ concept can also be a problem for designers regarding wholesale and logistics departments, due to the fact they need time to create designs, collect the fabrics and produce a whole collection to fill the stores worldwide. The solution is coming from brands such as Tommy Hilfiger who has created a capsule collection TommyXGigi (#TommyNow) or Thakoon who changed how they operate. Even Mytheresa.com is in with this new concept “show and shop” selling Tom Ford, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger catwalk pieces.
From my point of view, I think the solution is reformulating the structures and times, there is another way to understand fashion and it belongs with listening to the consumer, which I completely agree with. It will take time, but I believe this is going to be a revolution worldwide. Although, I also agree with an article from Aslaug Magnusdottir in BoF that said this “see now,buy know” will be a difficult step for new designers because this kind of business needs funds to be built.
This is another example that the only rule in fashion is that there are no rules.
What do you think about “see now, buy now”? Do you think is going to work?
With love, C
Pictures: Instagram: Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger & Ralph Lauren / NY Times2