This year, keeping up with the impending changes to the fashion calendar has proven to be a next-to-impossible task — and 2017 isn’t likely to be any different.
Designers are rapidly splitting off from the rest of the pack to work according to new fashion calendar models that make the most sense for their businesses — be it by adopting a see-now-buy-now approach to the increasingly consumer-driven market, combining their men’s and women’s shows, or ditching the ‘spring’ and ‘fall’ seasonalities for more evergreen collections.
Is your head spinning? Offering a better understanding of what next year’s fashion calendar will look like, here’s a comprehensive guide to who’s making what changes as fashion enters uncharted territory in 2017.
New York brands are migrating to L.A.
New York Fashion Week has some vacant slots in its lineup after a few high-profile decisions to move shows from the east coast to the west coast. So far, those who will be taking their collections to Los Angeles next year are Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Rachel Zoe.
Reasons for the move vary among the brands: Uri Minkoff, Rebecca Minkoff’s CEO, said the company wanted to get in front of L.A., which is one of its biggest markets. Tommy Hilfiger’s switch to L.A. is said to coincide with the California inspiration of its new collection, Hilfiger’s second collaboration with model Gigi Hadid. Tom Ford is speculated to be anchoring his next collection to the Oscars, where his film Nocturnal Animals could be among the nominees. Finally, Zoe told WWD she felt it was time to “own being an L.A. designer.”
Steven Kolb, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, told The Fashion Spot that designers testing out new cities was a positive thing. “From logistical purposes, it doesn’t impact what’s happening in New York during NYFW,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing. The whole idea is to explore different approaches to a fashion show — and falling outside of a defined week in a different city, it’s a great exploration.”
Men’s and women’s wear collections are merging.
Separate shows for men’s and women’s wear no longer make as much sense for brands looking to consolidate their runway appearances and cut back on production costs. A growing list of brands combining their men’s and women’s collections in 2017 include Calvin Klein (which will debut its first men’s and women’s show under creative director Raf Simons at New York Fashion Week), Gucci, Burberry, Tom Ford, Kenzo, Public School, Vetements, Bottega Veneta, Paul Smith, Rag & Bone and Vivienne Westwood.
Not only is turning two separate shows into one show a cost-effective approach to the runway season, but pairing the two collections provides for a more cohesive brand experience, according to Laurie de Jong, the founder and owner of LDJ Productions.
“Designers are now having to build brands, and they’re recognizing that there are a lot more options than there used to be,” she said. “It’s really important that the show captures everything a designer can offer.”
Some brands are shifting away from fashion week.
Bucking tradition, some designers have decided they don’t need to fall in line with the typical setup of fashion week. Vetements is showing its two annual collections in January and June, during the pre-collection season. Alexander Wang has folded his resort collection into his main spring and fall collections in order to consolidate and streamline his runway shows. DSquared2 will be showing its men’s and women’s collections together in January and June during Milan Men’s Fashion Week. Kenzo will show its combined collections at Paris Couture Fashion Week in January and June.
At least one brand has changed its mind about deserting the fashion calendar. Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chao had shifted their shows off the New York Fashion Week schedule, showing two non-seasonal collections (named “Collection 1” and “Collection 2”) in December and June, in order to separate their Public School shows from their DKNY shows during NYFW. Now that the two have exited DKNY, they’re taking back their slot in the main fashion week lineup.
See-now-buy-now is continuing to scale.
In 2016, a handful of brands shifted their retail schedule in order to put their collections on sale immediately following their debut on the runway. A few more brands dedicated a selection of items to a see-now-buy-now capsule collection, giving consumers something to grab in the heat of the fashion show’s moment and reserving the main ready-to-wear collection for the traditional six-months-in-advance retail schedule.
This year, the pioneers of full see-now-buy-now collections were Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco. Meanwhile, Prada, Michael Kors, Topshop Unique, Rebecca Minkoff, Alexander Wang and Hugo Boss all released a special selection of see-now-buy-now items.
Next year, a few more brands are stepping into the consumer-immediacy movement. While the brand has yet to confirm, Kate Spade is rumored to be shifting toward a two-step approach in 2017 by reserving its full ready-to-wear collection to the regular schedule and putting a smaller collection immediately on sale. Proenza Schouler is launching an “Early Edition” ten-item collection to appease eager consumers before the rest of its collection goes on sale. Topshop Unique will commit to a full see-now-buy-now approach, while Vivienne Westwood will also debut an instantly shoppable collection.
It’s going to be messy.
“The new approach to the fashion calendar is it’s every man for himself,” said Rony Zeidan, the founder of luxury agency RO NY. “That means there’s confusion and a lack of clarity.”