Under the lead of Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, a patchwork of independent designers, retailers, and CEOs, facilitated by the Business of Fashion, has published a proposal to initiate future changes in the Fashion Industry. Including a range of names such as the label Marine Serre or Tory Burch, the retailer Selfridges or online giant Mytheresa, the group stands in for a shift towards a more conscious and profitable future in fashion.
The industry has evolved over recent years. The invention of the World Wide Web and social media platforms in the late 1990s changed the industry image, the fashion circle began to expand and seasons multiplied – Alongside journalists, buyers, and muses, influencers began counting to the audience at fashion shows.
Shows are not optimized for this new world where fashion imagery travels at lightning speed, limiting the return on the customer desire by our own investments in fashion shows, BoF quotes. The traffic of show and collection imagery enables fast-fashion chains to copy designs and market them for a fraction of the original price point, resulting in an increasing demand for discounts, and shortened full-price selling periods.
The declaration on Rewiring Fashion underlines, that the fashion industry faces issues such as a fashion calendar out of sync with the end customer, resulting in damaged sales; a fashion show format deviated from the industry today as well an addiction to discounts, eroding profitability and brand equity for everyone along the value chain.
While the Covid-19 crisis challenges the industry and threatens many businesses, the patchwork of fashion professionals recognises an opportunity for a change that will simplify our businesses. The intention lays in increasing the focus on sustainability throughout the supply chain and sales calendars through less unnecessary product, less waste in fabrics and inventor [or] less travel.
The amendments hold a deferral of the Autumn Winter Shows back to winter -August / January – and Spring-Summer season to February / June. After Form Letter, this approach could create a flow of deliveries through the seasons to provide newness but also time for products to create desire. For Dries Van Noten the letter represents a starting point and expects others to participate at the initiative.
The steps could allow the industry to take responsibility for the impact on customers, the environment, and the fashion community. It would bring back the magic and creativity that initially gave fashion its importance.