As the fashion industry undergoes rapid-fire changes due to the evolving nature of the consumer, an increased demand for immediate access to products, and a thoroughly saturated social-media marketplace, retail sales are slumping while brands rush to figure out solutions. Paris Fashion Week was underway last season when, across the Atlantic, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) unveiled a highly anticipated report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) filled with statistics, stories, and recommendations for the way forward.
Although the CFDA report concluded that all brands will approach and solve the problem of adapting to a new consumer in ways unique to their respective operations, some early adopters like Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger set their sights on a consumer-facing model that made collections available for purchase as soon as they were seen on the runway. This direct-to-consumer approach is set to kick in for five brands at the onset of Spring/Summer 2017, which means we’ll be seeing them in action for the first time at New York Fashion Week. Here, Savoir Flair takes a closer look at their approach.
The public doesn’t know much about Opening Ceremony’s extravagant plans this season, but the few details we do know are very intriguing. The brand has revealed that Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will “front” the show, and other notable celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Orange Is the New Black’s Diane Guerrero and Natasha Lyonne will be involved as well. Set to take place on September 11th, the event has been dubbed “Pageant of the People”. It will culminate in direct-to-consumer availability.
In an effort to pioneer a solution to the “broken” fashion system, Tommy Hilfiger was one of the first brands to hop aboard the direct-to-consumer train. Its retooled approach includes an image overhaul thanks to a recent partnership with model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid and the release of the anticipated ‘Tommy x Gigi’ collection as soon as the Spring/Summer 2017 collection hits the runway.
The classic American sportswear brand will also host a sprawling carnival event at Pier 16 on September 9th, replete with a 40-foot Ferris wheel, fairground rides, hot dogs, and more. Concurrently, Tommy Hilfiger will make products available via touchscreen shopping walls from Amsterdam’s Random Studio as well as a shoppable live video stream that will show on www.tommy.com, Facebook Live, and Times Square. A total of 2,000 tickets to the event have already been distributed to the public, making this the largest consumer-facing show in New York history.
Rebecca Minkoff was ahead of the curve when it came to adopting a direct-to-consumer model, showing a #SeeBuyWear collection last season. She returns for Spring/Summer 2017 with a new hashtag – but a similar concept – called #RunwayToRetail. Minkoff will show to both trade members and consumers at a special outdoor event, with many influencers walking the runway. A majority of the collection will be available for immediate purchase.
Instead of a traditional runway show, Misha Nonoo tapped the brand power of Refinery29 by displaying her collection via a “live lookbook” on its Snapchat account yesterday. Nonoo’s choice to rely on social media as a runway replacement signaled the brand’s interest in millennial engagement. After the collection had been broadcast on Snapchat, every product was immediately made available for purchase via www.mishanonoo.com.
Although Tom Ford has been absent from the NYFW schedule for several seasons, he returns for Spring/Summer 2017 with something new and unexpected. Not only will his collection be aired on E!, but he will also host a live-streaming event on his website, where the collection will be made available for immediate purchase. Last year, he released his SS16 collection in music-video format starring Lady Gaga. This time, however, his direct-to-consumer approach is far more direct.