Burberry radically alters show plan
Burberry will drastically alter the way it presents collections from September 2016.
There has been an intense debate about the current Fashion Week schedule within the industry, with designers such as Tom Ford eschewing a big show in favour of small presentations to press and Giles Deacon ditching London Fashion Week so he could present couture instead.
Perhaps the biggest change has now been announced by Burberry, which will show it's men's and women's wear in one presentation twice a year from the Spring/Summer 17 shows in September (16). On top of this, pieces will be available to buy straight away - both in shops and online.
The idea is for the ranges to be seasonless, with window displays swapping the second the shows end.
"The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves,” chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey told WWD.
"Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streams, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve."
The industry bible suggests this move could mean a number of high-end labels follow suit. Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Diane von Furstenberg has already called for changes to shows, which have been blasted for being over-hyped and too flashy in recent seasons.
Christopher calls the move an organic one, and he hinted social media has played a part in the decision. The company has been live-streaming presentations for years, which has meant more feedback from customers about exactly the direction it should be heading in.
One of the things which immediately stood out was a feeling that the show schedule didn't gel with clients. At the moment, Autumn/Winter clothing is presented in the Spring and then available to buy around six months later.
"You can’t talk to a customer and say, ‘We’re really excited, we’re going to stimulate you and inspire you, but you can’t touch it or feel it for another six months,’" he said. "In fashion we talk about ‘a moment,’ and what feels right for the moment. And I’ve always battled with that because the moment is when you’re showing it, but then you’ve got to kind of say is it the right moment five or six months down the line? I just struggled with it. So it’s just trying to say to the customers: ‘You’re really important to us. We’re serving you and we need to change our ways rather than expect you to do these things.’”