It’s been an interesting ride following the see-now, buy-now transition of some designers like Tom Ford, Valli, Alberta Ferretti, Versace, and the like, while other design houses like Balmain, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, and Valentino appear to be digging in their heels in avoidance of change.

It’s been over a year since I first wrote about this, and as I pull myself out of the fashion month weeds and assess the flurry of what just happened, I realize we are right in the middle of seasonal identity chaos. And less importantly, seasonal trend confusion. What’s in? What’s out? The answer is everything because everything is being released early and late.

See-Now, Buy-Now Model at Dolce and Gabbana runway fashion show Milan Fashion Week

Take for instance the Fall 2017 collections, meant for, wait for it…the Fall. They were released this past Feb/Mar by some designers opting to use the relatively new see-now, buy-now model. And some of those designer pieces were sold out before the month of March even began. Not anywhere close to Fall. But other designers are waiting to release their collections until the actual Fall season approaches – you know, the season the clothes were intended for? And this dual release means that the trends of the season will have been worn for a solid 6 months by the time the unfortunate designers following the traditional model finally release their pieces. So they will already, in a way, be dated.

Fall 2017 designer runway fashion show collections - Versace, Balmain, Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab
Versace, Balmain, Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab

And by that time, Fashion Week will be happening again for the Spring collections…and those pieces will be released in the see-now, buy-now model….So the Spring pieces will then be released for sale by many designers during the Fall. Why? What sense does any of this make? Just start labeling your stuff correctly!

The CFDA needs to directly approach this rather than trying to fit their pegs – half of them having turned square – into the traditional round hole. If designers want to release their collection immediately, then it is really no longer for a season away. It is for now. And if now is Spring, they need to call it Spring. I know – earth shattering, far leap logic.

Models walking on runway wearing designer outfits by Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera
Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera

I understand this means that there will need to be a reset, requiring two Springs or two Falls back-to-back. So, theoretically, there would be a Spring collection released during Fall in the see-now, buy-now model, then a reset collection that is actually released in the Spring for the Spring. So two collections back-to-back for Spring. They could call this reset collection another name. The transition collection. I don’t care. Whatever they call it, they’re going to have to label the seasons correctly now that many of the designers have reset their clocks.

Which means the CFDA will need to revise how they approach Fashion Weeks. Unless all designers move to the new business model, there will continue to be a dichotomy of available now, v. holding out for months, and that means Fashion Week needs to be labeled as seasonless, in a way. Perhaps instead of Fall RTW, which takes place in Feb/Mar, they call it by the month it starts in. But really, I don’t care. Just don’t label it a season when half of the designers are releasing it in a completely different season. Is that too much to ask?

Come on fashion world. This isn’t rocket science. Or climate change, which apparently isn’t a thing anymore, so maybe those scientists who find themselves out of a job will be incredibly overqualified to fix this simple issue? (Yay horrible politics.) Let’s get it together!


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