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Steven Kolb talks future of fashion

Steven Kolb talks future of fashion

Steven Kolb predicts there will be more seasonless collections to come in fashion.

The president and chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) joined designer Tory Burch and Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen to discuss the future of the fashion industry earlier this week (end17Jun16). During their chat in Washington, Tory and Alex noted how names of lines will change to be more accessible all year round, and that brands will soon be showing select people new designs months before release - a forecast Steven agreed with.

“We’ll see more brands selling direct-to-consumer and the wholesale model as we know it today will become something different. As Tory said, we’ll see more lightweight fabrics that are more seasonless," he told the audience, also touching upon how social media has affected Fashion Week presentations.

It seems Steven isn't a fan of online sharing, and he describes it as the "disruptor" of runway shows that has contributed to copycats in the business.

“There is this immediacy of imagery that is getting out there right away," he bemoaned. "That contributes to the fatigue the customer is experiencing, but it also contributes to the copying of what designers are doing."

Steven explained he is open to an embargo which will hold images back rather than them being available for all to see immediately after being unveiled, as he thinks it will help boost originality.

Tory on the other hand is a big user of Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat and praises the Internet for helping build her brand. She feels her online platforms allow customers to get a true feel of her as a person and a designer, as well as allowing constant "dialogue" with her fans.

But ultimately, what the future of fashion comes down to is making shopping more of an experience, Alex added. Embracing the internet is a key factor too, as he explained: "I think we were all surprised by the velocity that consumers adopted e-commerce. There are implications for us in terms of inventory and logistics and infrastructure. Ultimately this may be about less brick-and-mortar stores, but our stores may be bigger.”

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