The inevitable pressure brands are faced with to maintain a steady flow of production and, in turn, being forced to speed up both their design and manufacturing processes in order to meet the demand in place has come to a head this season. In order to minimise the gap between showing and selling a ‘see now buy now’ model has been put into action this season by a number of brands. To keep up with industry demands British designer Oliver Spencer opted to introduce elements of the immediate sales model at his recent show during London Fashion Week in September. What this means is that certain items were available to purchase directly after the show which was actualised by the brand teaming up with mobile app Vero.
While this model may be of benefit to certain customers who don’t want to wait six months after collections are originally shown to buy products, is it placing unnecessary pressure on brands who are used to biannual showing with collections often being released gradually over the following few months? Is there a need for such urgency within the fashion industry?
For Spencer, he is completely open to the new idea, viewing it as a way to get items to his customers as soon as possible. Moreover, it appears that Spencer is leading the pack among see now buy now shows in menswear. While brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren had introduced the model in both their women’s and mixed-gender shows at New York Fashion Week in September, Spencer was the first menswear only brand to break the traditional mould of fashion week showing. Also out of the ordinary is the fact that Spencer showed during September London Fashion Week which is generally comprised of female ready-to-wear shows.
Attempting to bring the customer that bit closer to the world of fashion production, showing and sales, Spencer invited a number of guests from the public to his London show, a space which is generally reserved for journalists, buyers and other industry folk. At the end of the day, a brand’s main focus is on the customer and the people who are out there buying the products and attempting to bring them closer to the initial process makes sense. Spencer showed the AW16 collection which made its debut at Fashion Week back in January of this year, however, to keep the show interesting and worthwhile for those who had already seen it, there was a number of new exclusive designs shown on the day that were available for immediate purchase.
While we can’t see every menswear brand taking up this new model it certainly provides some food for thought. We’re always happy to hear brands focusing solely on customer interests as it’s something that we here at Indigo & Cloth maintain as our most important factor.