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Fashion’s New Calendar

In the past few years, fashion has changed dramatically. Clothing can now be bought quickly online and fashion shows can be streamed live by anyone who has a computer. Consumers are demanding new products and content faster than ever before, forcing everyone in the fashion industry to step up their game.

Zara, the world’s largest fast fashion retailer, is able to imitate a runway show collection and put it in stores months before the line makes it to the designers own stores. Time has caught up with the fashion industry, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)  have decided to take action.

The calendar of when clothing is shown on the runway to when the designers’ lines are finished has been described by many as “broken.” If the clothing from the shows are going to be ripped off before the original clothes are being sold, then what is the point of showing a collection six months in advance?

The CFDA has started a movement to reconcile this by coming up with a new way of doing things. Instead of showing the collection six months in advance, designers would have the collection ready for purchase directly after the show. They have coined the phrase “See Now, Buy Now.” This would mean the designers could channel the excitement they create around their runway show and use it for marketing purposes.

This past Fall 2016 season, some designers put the new schedule to the test.

The first designer to do this was Rebecca Minkoff. As a tech savvy fashion brand, it is no surprise Minkoff was one of the first to get on board with the new calendar. Burberry followed suit as well. They also began running ads for the collection after the show debuted.

Though it seems as if the entire industry is beginning to shift, there are some brands that were not on board.

Many Parisian brands rejected the idea of “See Now, Buy Now.” They believe the new schedule works for market driven brands, but it might put too much of a strain on the quality of work for the top designers. Parisians argue that their target customer would not demand the clothing directly after the show.

Still, it is hard to ignore the fact that the fashion week calendar is outdated.

In the fast-paced society that is 2016, if a brand wants to keep up with the market, waiting six months to sell a collection is not ideal. High end women’s wear designer Diane Von Furstenberg said, “everything needs to be rebooted,” and went on to explain that after seeing an outfit on Instagram or on social media, consumers want to buy it without waiting.

In her opinion, “The only people who benefit are the people who copy it.”

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