The Creative Director of Chanel shares his thoughts on the industry's big debate...
So far this fashion month there have been lots of murmurings and countless industry think pieces about how the ways in which the business of fashion needs to change.
Basically, many believe there’s a glaring disconnect that needs to be fixed: consumers (accustomed to the immediacy of information sharing online and the ability to buy everything at a click) aren’t well served by a system that requires them to wait six months to purchase the things they’ve seen on the catwalks.
Burberry and Tom Ford are pioneering a new way of delivering their products to customers: recently announcing overhauls to the way they present and sell their collections. Going forward their clothes will be available to buy immediately and they’re abandoning the existing convention of creating clothes for future seasons. Runway and retail will be synchronised.
These brands are putting customer’s front and centre of their business decisions and believe this new cycle will serve them best.
However, other people in the industry are committed to the current system – they believe in the traditional fashion calendar.
While in the UK and the US the overwhelming sense seems to be that the way the fashion calendar works now is out dated, designers in Paris and Milan have not suggested they share this opinion.
So what does Karl Lagerfeld, one of the industry’s most influential creatives think?
Speaking backstage at Fendi’s autumn/winter 16 show, i-D reports that Lagerfeld described this current situation, where insiders are not in agreement about the industry’s future, as ‘a mess’.
Lagerfeld revealed he does not see an immediate need for change, he believes the current way of working suits him:
“I can show my collection and sell them and give people the time to make their choice, to order them and to make them beautifully produced and editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything.”
Not to say Lagerfeld is rejecting the prospect of change, he also admitted that there certainly is a need to consider how brands make their product more accessible to customers – it’s just that that doesn’t necessary involve a complete overhaul of the traditional system.
In the future Lagerfeld intends to make an internet-only capsule collection: “Fifteen things, you buy them and you get them immediately.”
Sounds like a good way to have the best of both worlds, to us.
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