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Random fashion thoughts - Part II (A New Hope) - Page 499

post #7471 of 15079
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Those houses have to invest a ton into production anyway.  

And it's not as though under the current model, the most challenging pieces are the ones that sell through the most.  The same things will sell as do now: luxurious basics (I'm looking at you, "investment" leather jackets), denim, sneakers, accessories.  And right now, behind the scenes, after the show, when buying is actually done, there is a lot of horsetrading and taming of runways pieces so that buyers can feel somewhat secure, making really dramatic stuff both more widely appealing and at a more reasonably pricepoint than the runway piece, as shown, would go for.

At least with the fast fashion model, production can react to an interesting piece that catches fire, and we would skip that intermediate watering down step.

I don't think the companies that can adopt this are the ones who can react to interesting pieces though. Again, they're big fashion houses with lots of store fronts; they have to move a lot more units. They'll be reacting to whatever designer pieces are just a tier "above" them (if we can think of trends as trickling down).

In 2016, that means more safe, tame versions of MA-1s, not some weird, wacky take on the bomber.

At least with the old model, designers have to predict what's going to be hot in a year or so, not just react to sales numbers and trend reports of what's immediately hot now. So they might have to guess whether MA-1s are going to be boring by fall 2017, which in turn means they have to gamble on what they think is reliable in trend forecast reports. That means a slowing down of trends, and probably some kind of diffusion (since I assume people bet on different things -- will printed jackets be popular? Military wear? More minimal design? etc). With this model, it just encourages everyone to move in a big wave, with the biggest companies following whatever pretty tame company is just above them on the "trend ladder."
post #7472 of 15079

Interesting how this "fast fashion" model has shifted some designers' inclinations from predicting/creating trends to attempting to analyzing what's in right now and deliver it quickly. I think all that really got going in the 90s when grunge threw everything for a loop and brands like Forever 21 and H&M grew like wildfires.

 

But in the 90s, there was still so much bling. Now it's not cool to show wealth. I suspect a combination of designing for what the masses actually wear and bling being out due to tough economic times paved the way for a great deal of basic cuts made luxurious by the fabric itself.


Edited by BostonHedonist - 2/9/16 at 4:59pm
post #7473 of 15079
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


I don't think the companies that can adopt this are the ones who can react to interesting pieces though. Again, they're big fashion houses with lots of store fronts; they have to move a lot more units. They'll be reacting to whatever designer pieces are just a tier "above" them (if we can think of trends as trickling down).

In 2016, that means more safe, tame versions of MA-1s, not some weird, wacky take on the bomber.

At least with the old model, designers have to predict what's going to be hot in a year or so, not just react to sales numbers and trend reports of what's immediately hot now. So they might have to guess whether MA-1s are going to be boring by fall 2017, which in turn means they have to gamble on what they think is reliable in trend forecast reports. That means a slowing down of trends, and probably some kind of diffusion (since I assume people bet on different things -- will printed jackets be popular? Military wear? More minimal design? etc). With this model, it just encourages everyone to move in a big wave, with the biggest companies following whatever pretty tame company is just above them on the "trend ladder."

Come to some tradeshows and you'll see a great deal of homogeneity.

 

In any case, I think that the bolded part is inaccurate.  1) Things move in big waves anyway.  I'm not sure whether it's people hedging their bets, or because the zeitgeist of the global culture is so strong, but things move in big waves.  Don't believe me?  Look at sneaker trends.  I don't know why everyone in the world bet on Stan Smiths at exactly the same time, but that happened.  Or why did everyone decide that double riders were excellent?  Regardless of the cause, it happened and continues to happen.  2) If you decrease risk, you also decrease risk adverse behavior.  (is that a truism?)  On the contrary, players are more likely to play the margins in order to gain an advantage.

 

On a related note, things like preorders definitely increase the amount of choice there is, just because there is less risk to the retailer.  I can certainly.attest to that from first hand experience.

post #7474 of 15079
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Don't believe me?  Look at sneaker trends.  I don't know why everyone in the world bet on Stan Smiths at exactly the same time, but that happened.  Or why did everyone decide that double riders were excellent?  Regardless of the cause, it happened and continues to happen.  2) If you decrease risk, you also decrease risk adverse behavior.  (is that a truism?)  On the contrary, players are more likely to play the margins in order to gain an advantage.

Things obviously move in some sort of wave, otherwise trends wouldn't exist. I think it's just a matter of degree and uniformity in the market.

Don't understand why decreasing risk in one area would necessarily mean taking on greater risk in another. Decreasing risk just means increasing profits, which means greater ability to invest in ways that yield in even better returns. For big fashion brands like Tom Ford and Burberry, that means serving a certain kind of customer. Those aren't the early adopters who want to wear something innovative -- it's people who want to look trendy to a very broad audience. That means wearing things we would consider "safe" on this board. These are brands like Loro Piana and J. Crew, who are never going to be innovative in the way we think is interesting. Their core customers aren't those kinds of people.

If Lemaire or Stephen Schneider were able to do a runway-to-sales-floor model, things could get more interesting since their customers want innovative designs, but those brands don't have the retail shops set up.

American Fashion Podcast had a show a long time ago, I think maybe after Raf left Dior? It was about the pressure of these huge seasonal collections, the make-it-or-break-it financial models, and inefficiencies in bringing something from the runway to the sales floor. One of the people there commented on how maybe fashion is less innovative because designers simply don't have time to really create; they're just burdened with so much pressure and work. This new model could alleviate some of that, but I think fundamentally, fashion at the moment just demands too big of volumes. Presumably, once you can magnify trends, that sort of sales pace just gets worse, which means it washes out any gains you could have had on making the jobs of designers easier.
post #7475 of 15079
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


Things obviously move in some sort of wave, otherwise trends wouldn't exist. I think it's just a matter of degree and uniformity in the market.

Don't understand why decreasing risk in one area would necessarily mean taking on greater risk in another. Decreasing risk just means increasing profits, which means greater ability to invest in ways that yield in even better returns. For big fashion brands like Tom Ford and Burberry, that means serving a certain kind of customer. Those aren't the early adopters who want to wear something innovative -- it's people who want to look trendy to a very broad audience. That means wearing things we would consider "safe" on this board. These are brands like Loro Piana and J. Crew, who are never going to be innovative in the way we think is interesting. Their core customers aren't those kinds of people.

If Lemaire or Stephen Schneider were able to do a runway-to-sales-floor model, things could get more interesting since their customers want innovative designs, but those brands don't have the retail shops set up.

American Fashion Podcast had a show a long time ago, I think maybe after Raf left Dior? It was about the pressure of these huge seasonal collections, the make-it-or-break-it financial models, and inefficiencies in bringing something from the runway to the sales floor. One of the people there commented on how maybe fashion is less innovative because designers simply don't have time to really create; they're just burdened with so much pressure and work. This new model could alleviate some of that, but I think fundamentally, fashion at the moment just demands too big of volumes. Presumably, once you can magnify trends, that sort of sales pace just gets worse, which means it washes out any gains you could have had on making the jobs of designers easier.

I guess I am not sure what you are getting at.

 

You say that Tom Ford customers are not innovative.  Okay, so maybe that's true.  Let's assume that it is.  Then going to model that decreases the time between the marketing and the consumption is pretty much a wash, creatively.

 

Re. retailers who carry brands like Lemaire and Stephan Schneider, no they are unlikely to have retail stores, but in this new climate, are much more likely, imo, to allow innovative retail practices, like preorders.  IME, retail models which include activities like preorders, which mitigate risk, both financially and creatively, are beneficial to the designer, the retailers, and the customer.  Preorders allow a retailer to mitigate their financial risk in a buy and make their cashflow more consistent, and do market research (people are actually voting with their dollars - no, the preorder customer is not always the same as the regular season customer, but the alternative is no information).  This means that maybe that wierd coat that the retailer liked, but was reluctant to commit too much, maybe it's a hit in the preorders, and the retailer decides to stock it after all.  I see that as a win for everyone - vendor, retailer, customer.

 

Re your last paragraph - those make or break financial models are going to continue to exist, but if we go to something like six (smaller) collections a year, as many designers are doing, there are more kicks at the can, and designers can fine tune as the year progresses based on the feedback about and buyers' reactions to their collections.  I'm not sure what you mean by "making the job of designers easier", but it would mitigate some of the financial stresses of your survival hinging on the success of two collections.  Right now, you have to have a pretty good batting average to stay alive.  fwiw, being a designer sucks in terms of quality of life. If you want to have a lot of leisure time and also make some decent cash, it's much better to be, say, an accountant.  You had better be doing it because you love it, because the odds are, you are not going to become wealthy.

post #7476 of 15079
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

I guess I am not sure what you are getting at.

You say that Tom Ford customers are not innovative.  Okay, so maybe that's true.  Let's assume that it is.  Then going to model that decreases the time between the marketing and the consumption is pretty much a wash, creatively. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Re. retailers who carry brands like Lemaire and Stephan Schneider, no they are unlikely to have retail stores, but in this new climate, are much more likely, imo, to allow innovative retail practices, like preorders.  IME, retail models which include activities like preorders, which mitigate risk, both financially and creatively, are beneficial to the designer, the retailers, and the customer.  Preorders allow a retailer to mitigate their financial risk in a buy and make their cashflow more consistent, and do market research (people are actually voting with their dollars - no, the preorder customer is not always the same as the regular season customer, but the alternative is no information).  This means that maybe that wierd coat that the retailer liked, but was reluctant to commit too much, maybe it's a hit in the preorders, and the retailer decides to stock it after all.  I see that as a win for everyone - vendor, retailer, customer.

Re your last paragraph - those make or break financial models are going to continue to exist, but if we go to something like six (smaller) collections a year, as many designers are doing, there are more kicks at the can, and designers can fine tune as the year progresses based on the feedback about and buyers' reactions to their collections.  I'm not sure what you mean by "making the job of designers easier", but it would mitigate some of the financial stresses of your survival hinging on the success of two collections.  Right now, you have to have a pretty good batting average to stay alive.  fwiw, being a designer sucks in terms of quality of life. If you want to have a lot of leisure time and also make some decent cash, it's much better to be, say, an accountant.  You had better be doing it because you love it, because the odds are, you are not going to become wealthy.

Maybe I'm being unfair to that segment of the market. There's still a ton of design creativity at places like Tom Ford/ J. Crew/ Loro Piana, etc. I guess my point is just that I'm not convinced this new model encourages risk taking in design. It seems like the old model forced creativity by default because of trend forecasting. Trends moved slower, and there was diffusion of designs because people bet on different things. But anyway, who knows -- I guess we'll see.

I like the pre-order model, but agree with Pete that they work better for a certain kind of experienced customer. You have to know what you like, what size you need, etc. Most customers are better of being able to return things. If a customer gets something on pre-order and ends up not liking it (even if he paid 10% less than full-retail), that sour experience is bad for the brand, store, and customer himself. It's only a win for everyone if the customer knows what he's doing. (Forums like SF help aggregate knowledge to help that, but even with all the info here, you can make a bad decision if you're not careful).
post #7477 of 15079
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

I like the pre-order model, but agree with Pete that they work better for a certain kind of experienced customer. You have to know what you like, what size you need, etc. Most customers are better of being able to return things. If a customer gets something on pre-order and ends up not liking it (even if he paid 10% less than full-retail), that sour experience is bad for the brand, store, and customer himself. It's only a win for everyone if the customer knows what he's doing. (Forums like SF help aggregate knowledge to help that, but even with all the info here, you can make a bad decision if you're not careful).

I'd agree with that as well - it's a model that is most useful to a specific type of customer.  However, I think that for the retailer and the vendor, it's a complete win.

post #7478 of 15079
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Maybe I'm being unfair to that segment of the market. There's still a ton of design creativity at places like Tom Ford/ J. Crew/ Loro Piana, etc. I guess my point is just that I'm not convinced this new model encourages risk taking in design. It seems like the old model forced creativity by default because of trend forecasting. Trends moved slower, and there was diffusion of designs because people bet on different things. But anyway, who knows -- I guess we'll see.

I like the pre-order model, but agree with Pete that they work better for a certain kind of experienced customer. You have to know what you like, what size you need, etc. Most customers are better of being able to return things. If a customer gets something on pre-order and ends up not liking it (even if he paid 10% less than full-retail), that sour experience is bad for the brand, store, and customer himself. It's only a win for everyone if the customer knows what he's doing. (Forums like SF help aggregate knowledge to help that, but even with all the info here, you can make a bad decision if you're not careful).

I agree with your first paragraph. Burberry and Tom Ford doing the production early is going to be based off numbers and while the occasional out-there piece will be thrown in, I believe it will be fewer and far between. But then again, a brand like Burberry is making a healthy majority of cash from leather goods and fragrance, so maybe no one will really notice.
One other thing that will happen is that certain pieces will become quite exclusive and hard to find, especially if it hits at retail. Merchandisers and buyers are going to risk less and therefore there are going to be those pieces that will be rare every season. This is exactly what Demna from Vetements touched on on businessoffashion when he talked about Vetements' new strategy. And it works really well for a brand such as his because it's already quite exclusive as is and it's only going to push retailers to buy up all they can and then consumers (as long as they're actually aware) are going to feel more pressure to buy sooner.

Also, as far as pre-orders go. A lot of retailers, like Barneys, you can pre-order and if it doesn't work out, you can return. I'm not sure how they're doing it however on their back end. It may be they have already ordered the pieces in the quantity they want and then put it up online and once it's allocated, it's done. Then they re-order. Not exactly sure.

I always thought it would be interesting to open up buys being live with consumers. Taking customers on the buying trip with you, so to speak and getting real time feedback. I know this sounds like a logistical nightmare and it probably is, but I think there's something there. Taking pre-orders one step further.
post #7479 of 15079
Thread Starter 

Thought that I'd throw this in here.  I'm stoked. Three samples of this jacket later, I'm happy with the fit, the balance between all the details, the hardware, everything. I'm going to tell @luxire that the moto is ready to go to market.   

 

The double rider is also ready. The final sample requires that the hem be taken in 1/2"-1" for the standard fit, but other than that, it's ready as well. 

post #7480 of 15079

I know the joke's played out, but that is by far the best quality image you've posted. 

 

...and the jacket looks great

post #7481 of 15079
nice amaryllis.
post #7482 of 15079
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitant View Post

nice amaryllis.

Found the avant gardener
post #7483 of 15079
Article in the BoF about another designer solving the timing problem.

http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/esteban-cortazar-tackles-timing-production
Quote:
For Cortázar, the solution was simple to conceive, but complicated to execute. He started to create only two collections a year, both of which would be pre-sold, trans-seasonal and delivered in multiple drops. Cortázar decided to invite buyers to see a combination of pre-made samples and sketches three months before fashion week. Long-lead press are also invited and all orders for the season placed then. Production begins immediately, so that by the time fashion week arrives, the process is nearly complete. If schedules run smoothly, orders can be ready for delivery about eight weeks later. Cortázar’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection was sold in the first week of July, shown on the runway at Paris in October and landed in stores in early December; arriving early enough to have kept its “freshness” says Cortázar.

[...]

“The fabric is the number one thing. You can whip out production quick if you have manpower,” says Cortázar. But, “the factory cannot sew if the fabric is not there. It’s riskier.” The designer also negotiates wide delivery windows with stores — a contingency plan if the brand hits any road bumps during production. Many factories, he explains, still fail to grasp his alternative business model and decision to order outside the traditional schedule.

[...]

Cortázar also has to take care that images of the collection don’t leak before the catwalk show, and all buyers are now asked to sign confidentially agreements before they make their orders, so collection images don’t accidentally wind up on social media and steal his show’s thunder.
post #7484 of 15079

^was going to link that, how timely. 

 

@LA Guy you could have just asked your son to talk a pic for you and it would have shown more deets...

post #7485 of 15079
i hate when webstores for international shipping outside of us don't do free express delivery but instrad standard delivery
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