Trends in the fashion industry for 2017 # 7 : The end of the season cycles

December 7, 2016 | 0 Comments | Uncategorized

Business for Fashion published the ten trends that will shape 2017. We will share one trend every week, read the complete article here

7. Changing the system

In 2017, the fashion industry will await with baited breath the outcome of the recent disruptions to the fashion cycle. From the see-now, buy-now movement to joint menswear and womenswear presentations, 2016 was a truly disruptive year for the fashion cycle. Vertical retailers initially increased cycles mainly by implementing flash programmes and open-to-buy. Decisions in the higher-end segments to change the timing of the sell-in process will have ripple effects across the entire industry as all brands face the need to adjust to the best competitive model and number of product drops for their business.

Early results from the see-now, buy-now collections launched in September 2016 point to the possible evolution of this model. Beside its novelty factor, which has garnered media attention and served as a valuable marketing platform, the brands pioneering the model are reporting positive figures. For instance, straight after the Tommy x Gigi runway event, several of the under-$100 pieces were already sold out online. The day after Burberry’s show, its Regent Street boutique sold out several styles from the collection before noon, and many key pieces appeared to be sold out on the brand’s website within the week. Bergdorf Goodman declared that it had its largest Tom Ford day of the year following the New York show. For advocates of this change, the move to immediacy is a step in the right direction for the fashion industry as it gives more consumers access to the fashion shows, and it adapts to the way consumers want to shop and behave.

The official financial results will be seen over the course of 2017 as brands release the figures for their full retail seasons. At the moment it is not clear how many SKUs sold out after the see-now, buy-now collections were released, whether brands and retailers replenished those items after the show, and how accurately they forecasted demand for the remainder of the season. Even if the financial results are positive, there are questions surrounding the impact of this new model on production and manufacturing processes, and the investment required to get there. More importantly for high-end brands, there is uncertainty about how it may impact creativity.

The optimum model is not clear cut and the decision to adopt a new cycle will likely depend on the creative process, the brand, the product category and a company’s distribution, among other factors. That said, brands are prepared to adopt new models if the consumer forces ultimately trump the status quo.

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