Trade Groups, Designers Urge Revising the Fashion Calendar – Morning Brew
Puffer coats, sold during winter? That’s the groundbreaking proposition underlying recent proposals to overhaul the fashion industry’s worst habit: shipping clothes to stores several months before anyone wants to wear them.
- In April, Saks Fifth Avenue coordinated talks with 20 brands to align product deliveries with their correct seasons.
- Then, two cohorts of 50+ brands signed open letters demanding coordinated deliveries and fewer fashion shows.
- Yesterday, the U.S. and U.K.’s leading fashion trade groups, the CFDA and BFC, respectively, released a joint statement urging their members to release just two collections per year.
The common thread: Designers finally realized that dropping sweaters during beach season makes no rational sense—plus retailers often slash prices after those sweaters spend months on the racks. This problem’s been compounded by COVID-19, since temporary store closures have backed up inventory even further.
- Discounts are so detrimental, some groups want to trash them altogether. The #RewiringFashion proposal, one of the open letters listed above, calls for fashion brands to quit Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day.
Shredding the old calendar could largely benefit brands and their customers. Designers would run less risk of creating excess inventory with fewer, timelier drops. Shoppers would find merchandise in stores during the season it’s meant to be worn.
Notice who’s missing?
LVMH and Kering, the European conglomerates overseeing a Wintour’s share of luxury fashion brands, haven’t stamped their logos on any petitions yet. Also missing: brands that perpetuate the discount cycle (like Zara and H&M).
In an industry that follows the leaders, this is a problem. If large corporations won’t make the calendar shift, smaller brands will lose confidence in their new proposals.
My takeaway: Fashion houses thrive on tradition, but post-pandemic survival depends on breaking with The Way Things Have Always Been Done.
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