06 Feb Are Runway Shows becoming a thing of the past?
February 5th 2016 was the day when the fashion system changed. Burberry announced that they will be implementing a see-now-buy-now system in September after their show. This means that customers will not have to wait six months to buy the clothing from the runway, but a few minutes.
Burberry will now only present two shows a year, which will feature both menswear and womenswear; these will be shown in February and September. Yesterday Tom Ford announced that he has cancelled his Autumn/ Winter show that was scheduled for later this month, but will instead debut his collection early September and enabling it to be bought the very same day both in store and online. The brands feel it is hard to create the same hype six months later, and customers may be less interested in the same items later on in that year. When Tom Ford returned to runway for his womenswear collection he banned all press coverage and Internet coverage all together, as he hated the thought of clothing to be shown and visually consumed before it was available to the mass market.
But we may want to question this by asking if these designers truly created something magnificent then their buyer should not become disinterested but excited for their future investment?
Though these two brands may have opted for a different venture, over the past few years’ major luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton have increased the number of shows from 4 to 6; adding Cruise and Resort to the traditional ready-to-wear and couture. This step has enabled these brands to reach a wider audience by presenting new items every couple or months luring more customers into their pockets. These shows have lured journalists and bloggers in pushing the publicity of collections. Last Spring, Chanel invited us to Seoul, Louis Vuitton to Palm Springs and Dior back to Europe. The shows don’t stop there as Chanel will be presenting their collection in May in Cuba, and Gucci has said they will be presenting their next collection in Westminster Abbey, London.
This step that Bailey and Ford have taken reduces the chances for models to make a living. Models may be the least of these men’s worries but in an average show there about 20 to 30 models, and these are the weeks that are the most hectic and money making months of the year for them; I suppose it’s their element. Now a drop of four shows may not seem like a major tragedy but it lowers the chances of a model booking a show as it becomes even more competitive. The model industry is an ever-growing one, with the negative insertion of the so-called Instagram models making their mark; it lessens the chances of the hard working, determined men and women out there busting every part of their body just to book something.
Whether or not you are obsessed with the girls hogging your Instagram or Twitter feed, you have to understand that there are men and women sharing a room in a city with about six other people with not much money trying to break into the industry and this step has made their lives 10x harder. The gap between the runway and fast fashion may been starting to close, and this is a positive thing to celebrate as no one likes that person with the cheap knock offs but before creating an opinion on this matter you may want to look at this new revolution of fashion from another angle.
Photo courtesy of The Evening Standard