tom ford cancels his nyfw presentation
Becoming the third designer today to denounce the ‘antiquated’ fashion week system.
Tom Ford revealed today that his autumn/winter 16 men's and women's presentations (previously scheduled for February 18, during the New York women's shows) will be delayed until September in order to coincide with the day that products hit stores and online.
The decision is part of Ford's effort to bridge the gap between the brand and its consumers. In a press release, Ford explains that the four-month-long waiting period between the expensive and elaborate spectacle of a show and the time when consumers can actually purchase the clothing creates a disconnect that simply does not fit in today's world. He refers to the current fashion week schedule and system as "from another era."
Following the mass exit of creative directors (Phoebe Philo being the rumoured latest), closer attention is being paid to the pressure put on designers by an industry that constantly demands more and more product.
Many brands are now choosing instead to change the system of operations itself in order to give themselves more time to create collections, and to reduce the time consumers have to wait for them. Following Proenza Schouler's recent decision to make its pre-fall 16 collection visible only when it arrives in stores in April, Burberry just announced a similar change of plans. The brand will be dropping the traditional schedule in favour of two seasonless women's and men's combined collections per year, and will also wait until the day that collections are available for purchase before showing them at all. Vetements also denounced pre-collections in an interview with Vogue today, in order to shine a brighter light on its main collections and extend their shelf life (starting in January rather than March).
What all of these brands have in common is the desire to engage the consumer at a quicker pace, the need to focus on fewer collections in order to do so, and the abandonment of gender separation as both an economic and a social statement. Ultimately, if immediacy and a longer attention span are what consumers need in 2016, then that is what designers will be giving from now on.
Text Blair Cannon
Photography Terry Richardson
Styling Vivienne Westwood [The Man and Beast Issue, No. 211, July 2001]