Fashion designer Michael Kors is offering customers a series of fresh-off-the-runway pieces immediately following his Fall 2016 runway show.
Titled ‘Ready-to-Wear, Ready to Go,’ the edit includes clothes, shoes and handbags that clients will be available to purchase online and at the brand’s Madison Avenue store straight after their runway debut.
“Our customer doesn’t think in terms of seasons, she just thinks about what works for her life and what she’s in love with,” said Kors, announcing the new strategy.
“I thought it would be a great idea to give her the opportunity to sprinkle some key items from the runway into her current wardrobe.”
The New York brand is the latest in a long list of fashion houses tapping into the allure of instant gratification. US label Tommy Hilfiger also announced a corporate overhaul that will see the group realign its business calendar so that its runway shows and retail cycles match up with each other.
Starting with the Spring 2017 New York Fashion Week season, the label’s entire collections will launch in the aftermath of the coinciding runway debut, in a process the designer called ‘democratising the runway.’
“We’ve been building towards this for a long time, and the natural progression of this approach to democratizing the runway is to make the full excitement and energy of NYFW directly accessible to our consumers in a globally impactful way,” he elaborated.
This seismic shift in the running of the fashion industry was set in motion earlier this month by British giant Burberry. When the iconic label revealed that, from September 2016, it will put on only two seasonless runway shows per year, not traditional four, mixing menswear and womenswear and putting the clothes on the rack at the same time as the catwalk, it seemed like a tearaway move.
But several major brands have since followed suit, with Tom Ford adopting a ‘see now, buy now’ philosophy, and French label Vetements revealing plans to eschew the traditional fashion week calendar and show its men’s and women’s collections together in January.
The common argument put forward by the designers for this shakeup is building a bond with the customer. “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,”said Burberry CEO and Chief Creative Christopher Bailey.
Tom Ford echoed the sentiment, saying, “Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available.”
The headline fashion houses have yet to indicate that they will make the leap, but for now it is safe to say that there is a whiff of revolution in the air. Could fast fashion be about to live up to its name?