On Friday, both brands made announcements that might change the way we shop for clothes forever.
On Friday, Tom Ford and Burberry made the most significant change to the fashion calendar in, well, fashion history.
Both brands announced that instead of continuing to follow the traditional Fashion Week schedule (which means presenting clothes months in advance of when they’ll actually be available for purchase), they’ll show their wares just before putting them on sale.
“In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers, is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense,” Ford said in a statement. “Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will remedy this, and allow the excitement that is created by a show or event to drive sales and satisfy our customers’ increasing desire to have their clothes as they are ready to wear them.”
Ford has cancelled the fall 2016 presentations he’d scheduled in New York for February, and will instead bring both his men’s and women’s collections to the Big Apple in September. Burberry, based in London, will also show its men’s and women’s collections simultaneously, in two major shows every year. Going forward, the label’s collections will cater to consumers around the world who deal with wildly different weather patterns on the same calendar say.
“We’re a global company. When we stream that show, we’re not just streaming it to people who live in spring/summer climates; we’re doing it for all different climates,” said Burberry CEO and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey in an interview with WWD. “So I guess we’re trying to look both creatively and pragmatically at this.”
Details asked both brands whether Ford and Bailey (who worked together at Gucci when Ford was its creative director) had discussed moving their shows to a consumer-focused schedule together, but representatives for both designers were unable to offer any insight. But it’s hard to believe that the two former colleagues wouldn’t have discussed the idea, especially amid the broader fashion community’s age-old complaint about a broken fashion system.
“We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows. Something’s not right anymore because of social media, people are confused,” said Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg, in a December interview. “We have some ideas. Everyone seems to feel that the shows being consumer-driven is a very good idea.”