To survive a market turned upside down by uncertainty, sluggish growth and generational change, brands must act with purpose, argues BoF 500 member Jens Grede.
Ah! The “Death of Fashion” yet again. (And again and again.) this is very interesting. The head of the French Federation – the core of the couture world- is writing against a social structure that has been slowly taking place for 40 years (if not longer.)
Consumer-driven ‘buy now’ strategies can damage fashion brands, argues Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode.
So, is this what fast fashion will flip into? Or is the profit motive all too strong? OR: Can sustainability become a profit motive? (Will we pay more for this kind of approach? Think junk food vs. fresh produce?)
Your cotton T-shirt required more than 2,700 liters of water to produce and new industry standards would make sure you knew that.
Here is an interesting take on the business and the “forecasting” industry.
Link: Op-Ed | Nobody Knows Anything: Moving Beyond Fashion’s Closed Loop.
And there we have it. Fashion as we knew it, becomes Fashion as we now know it: “…a near-constant stream of newness.” From Fashion Cycle to Fashion Feed – The Business of Fashion.
There is so much in this article that is relevant to our discussion, that it could be –and probably will be– assigned reading before long. Major points are the references to the H&M and ZARA business-models and the acknowledgement of the speed of the present day Internet-driven market. No “forecasting,” just reflexivity and responsiveness. Not that that is news, but here we begin to see what may be a long-term effect of the technology. Pretty soon we won’t even be saying “fast fashion” I suspect. This will just be what it is. (The way no one talks about the Internet as “new media” any more. Maybe we’ll start talking about “slow fashion” to differentiate.)
I also found the emphasis on the collaborations interesting, especially noting the celebrities and the spectacular nature of some of those those involved.
But please just whistle past this kind of marketing-speak (from NIKE CEO): “One of the things that we recognize, certainly in the women’s business, is that there is no performance without style.” (Yeah, yeah, whatever.)
The “everything for everyone” model, yet again. More and more, I believe this is something we need to start looking at. Where did this start? Uniqlo models after Apple, but Ralph Lauren was doing this kind of thing long ago…. (Maybe I’m confusing two business models?)
” ‘Consumers have become adept at ‘[divorcing] the clothes we buy from the fact that living, breathing people make them,’ meaning the key to change lies in ‘reconnection and recognition that the supply chain is comprised of real people,’ ”
I think this relates both to the fast fashion discussion, as well as trend forecasting. With raised awareness will come a need for new methods. The younger generation is becoming increasingly concerned with these issues, and old means of production might not cut it anymore.
It was announced that Alexander Wang will be collaborating with H&M this fall, with a line hitting stores on November 6th. I think this was a smart selection on behalf of H&M. One of their more recent designer collaborations (Maison Martin Margiela) featured clothing that I believe was far too out-of-the-box for the average H&M customer. MMM’s designs are notoriously avant-garde, and their H&M line (while toned down) still stuck out like a sore thumb against H&M’s minimalist clothing. In light of this, I think a line with Alexander Wang will fare much better. His minimalist style, added with his new designing experiences with Balenciaga, will more than likely create a line that keeps in line with H&M’s aesthetic, while offering customers a “high-end” option and a chance to sport something attached to Wang’s name.