Consumers and Social Media Pressure Shakes up Fashion Week
In an industry famous for resisting change, fashion week is experiencing an overhaul that places the consumer first. Recently, Burberry, Tom Ford and Vetements announced they are departing from the traditional fashion calendar in response to the rise of digital and consumer demand.
British fashion house Burberry has redefined its fashion schedule to present two annual collections that will be available immediately to buy after the runway show ends. The buzz of fashion week is tantalizing, but traditional four-month gap between runway collections and its arrival in stores is devoid of any reason in the social media age.
Fashion week sells a thrill, creating social media buzz that needs to be capitalized on with immediately accessible collections. Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey told WWD that he has never understood why the industry promotes fashion that is right “for the moment” yet doesn’t make it available for six months, confusing the customer.
"Logistically looking at the fashion-show construct, it makes very little sense now," says Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. "If you put a business consultant in to look at what the fashion industry is doing, they would think it was insane."
Consumers want to see behind the scenes in real time, on Snapchat, Periscope and now with Facebook launching live videos – the time is now for high fashion brands to leverage the immediacy of social media.
Burberry has already tapped into the power of social media, broadcasting its Spring 2016 Mario Testino shoot live on Snapchat.
The next step for brands is determining the correct balance of creativity, business, and pleasing consumers, editors, buyers, and press alike in the new buy-now, wear-now format.