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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

LA Guy

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I decided to put this out there, and will be moving posts that speak specifically to the the workings of the fashion industry, from other threads, here. A lot of people seem to be be interested, and it would be nice to have a place where people can find information, opinions, and give their own.
This can to mind becaue of an article in BoF (www.businessoffashion.com) - about how the "See now, buy now" might be disregarding the extended exposure needed to build value in a consumer's mind. I think that there is a point to delaying gratification (see Christmas), but I also think that six months between a show and a collection is a lot of time, and can't possibly be the optimal time needed to build consumer interest. Maybe a month? Maybe a bit more? But more than that, and other things will distract, and diminish the impact of those initial images.
Here is the article: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/opinion/see-now-buy-now-fashion-consumer-psychology
 
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Parker

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I think a lot of people aren't necessarily ready to buy stuff until they see it in magazines or on real people (celebs or other influencers). I'm not sure how many in the general public follow every show anyway. I'm just guessing though.
 
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LA Guy

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I think a lot of people aren't necessarily ready to buy stuff until they see it in magazines or on real people (celebs or other influencers). I'm not sure how many in the general public follow every show anyway. I'm just guessing though.
I think that you are right about fashion shows. I think that fashion shows are fairly limited in reach and appeal, mostly because the pieces are generally part of an ensemble rather than presented as individual product. But I think that tradeshows are a completely different story altogether. The moment a line is showing in a showroom or tradeshow, detailed product shots are going to be available for the world to see.
 

dieworkwear

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Ha, I was just going to post that in the RFT thread.

The whole "see now, buy now" thing seems to have died before it started. A few of the brands who jumped on have apparently already jumped off.

I like the skepticism in the article, but not sure it actually comports with my experience.

Certainly, repeated exposure is important. But how much repeated exposure happens between the show and start of the season? I'd argue almost none -- you see the show, then forget about it until the deluge of social media and/ or marketing happens six months later.

I guess the counter argument is that this is building interest among editors and social media influencers, who are really the ones following this stuff. That may be true. But the original argument was that this new schedule wouldn't affect editors' interaction with a designer or label anyway -- those views would just get pushed back (and they'd have to sign NDA contracts or whatever). By the time the public sees it, editors and bloggers have already known about it for six months.
 

LA Guy

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Certainly, repeated exposure is important. But how much repeated exposure happens between the show and start of the season? I'd argue almost none -- you see the show, then forget about it until the deluge of social media and/ or marketing happens six months later.
This. It feels like the argument was shoehorned in. Sure, there might be a optimal period between initial exposure and products on the market, but the original reasons for the six month time gap has nothing to do with building enthusiasm, but with the buying period and production schedules.
 

dieworkwear

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This.  It feels like the argument was shoehorned in.  Sure, there might be a optimal period between initial exposure and products on the market, but the original reasons for the six month time gap has nothing to do with building enthusiasm, but with the buying period and production schedules.


Maybe this is unfair, but I think the author also makes the mistake of assuming t=0. In other words, she doesn't take into context that designers are working in response to a long history of trend buidling -- a lot of repeated exposure already happening.

Unless you're Hedi or Raf, you're probably not setting up these really disruptive collections. In order to sell things, you can only push the needle so far before you're out of the conversation/ risking zero sales.

So even if the repeated exposure argument is important in the way she presents, a "see now, buy now" collection will likely be building on a year or more of repeated exposure by other brands. It's not like t=0 here; t = some huge number. Designers are drawing on a long history of fashion trends that everyone's already thinking about, which is why they're designing the things they're designing. Presumably because that stuff is hot right now.
 
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dieworkwear

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For those interested and not already following, LeanLuxe is a great read for fashion industry news.

http://leanluxe.com/

They have an email newsletter, which you can sign up on that home page. Worth the additional email.
 

LA Guy

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It seems to be a company in crisis, and huge stores with huge overheads are great vanity projects during times of prosperity, but is an unnecessary cost center in belt tightening times. Apparently, the Paul Stuart store is nearly there completely for the prestige and the marketing appeal to the Japanese customer (it's owned by a Japanese conglomerate, afaik.)

Incidentally, RRL has become stupidly priced compared to Japanese companies that sell better versions of the same things. I'm not sure what the value propositions is anymore. It's never been on price, but it can't possibly for brand prestige, particularly in such a narrow niche.
 
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WSW

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It seems to be a company in crisis, and huge stores with huge overheads are great vanity projects during times of prosperity, but is an unnecessary cost center in belt tightening times.  Apparently, the Paul Stuart store is nearly there completely for the prestige and the marketing appeal to the Japanese customer (it's owned by a Japanese conglomerate, afaik.)


I dropped by the store two Thanksgivings ago. It only sold up to the Blue Label / Polo Ralph Lauren Line, thus mid-priced items. I couldn't see how they could move enough product to justify the rent, the expensive decor and the number of staff present.
 

dieworkwear

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Hard to separate these factors out, since they kind of go hand in hand, but I wonder how much of this is about

1) Heritage trend dying (see J Crew and Ralph Lauren above)

2) Size. Once you reach a certain size as a fashion brand, the biz dynamics change -- how many units you have to sell, how quickly you want to (or can) react to trends, etc. Maybe this is just a story about how retail at a certain level is shifting to both online shopping and smaller boutiques. Early- to late-20th century fashion shopping shifted away from big dept stores like Saks. Maybe this is like that.

Put it another way, is there a menswear brand that's both 1) not heritage-y and 2) growing?
 
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cyc wid it

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Probably John Elliott? Geller seems to be coming along? They have no physical retail locations though.
 

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