The decline of fashion week, explained

7 days ago in news

The decline of fashion week, explained

By Rebecca Jennings, Vox, February 2019

Fashion week is dead. Haven’t you heard? It was dying, and then it was dying some more, and kept on dying, and now it’s dead.


"Fashion week is dying because it has zero relevance to the way modern shoppers buy stuff.

The traditional fashion calendar, in which a collection of garments for fall is presented the preceding February and spring clothing is shown in September, actually comes from King Louis XIV. In the 17th century, he established France as the center of the luxury textile industry by imposing a seasonal schedule wherein new textiles would be released twice a year, as a means of encouraging people to buy more of them. From the beginning, it was simply good marketing — people bought the latest textiles because they were new, not because they were actually needed."

"Much was made of the fact that in 2016, major designers like Burberry, Tom Ford, and Tommy Hilfiger adopted a “see now, buy now” strategy, in which their runway collections were available to purchase immediately. But for most mass-market clothing brands, that’s just business as usual. The biggest fast-fashion brands like Asos, for instance, can turn around entire collections in the span of a few weeks."

"Enter drop culture. Companies have found success by creating scarcity, building buzz and dropping limited collections or individual items whenever they want instead of releasing collections on a regular schedule. The most famous of them is Supreme, the streetwear brand that, even after 25 years, still attracts lines that span full city blocks every Thursday morning. It doesn’t need a presence at fashion week to do that."

"Plus, there are far fresher and less expensive ways to market a fashion brand that don’t involve runways. There are highbrow examples (like the brand Opening Ceremony’s relationship with the New York City Ballet) and quirky ones (like designer Rachel Antonoff turning a fashion presentation into a school science fair). And then there are presentations that just exist online, like Misha Nonoo’s “Insta-Show,” where the only spectacle was the one taking place on Instagram — the only medium through which most people have access to a fashion show in the first place."


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