You know that eye-rolling feeling when you step into a store only to be faced with clothing that you’ve seen a thousand times before? Well, soon it will be a distant memory. Ever since editors and bloggers started Instagramming their favorite outfits during fashion week, only for them to land in stores six painfully slow months later, things have started to feel old, for both shoppers and designers. Take Rebecca Minkoff, for instance. She has plans to remedy all this with a show at New York Fashion Week tomorrow that will combine clothing that’s already in store, along with some new, as yet unseen limited-edition pieces that will be available to buy, or preorder, as quick as you can like them on social media.
Rebecca Minkoff, photographed during her preparations for fall 2016 Fashion Week.
“Women want instant gratification,” explains Minkoff of the about turn (she plans to show her fall collection in September, and that will be entirely new). “Now, if they see something on a blogger or on Instagram, they can actually buy it straightaway. I think it only eases a lot of the pain that people were experiencing.” It’s not the first time Minkoff has bypassed the traditional way of doing things and adhered to the preferences of her devotees. “Bringing our consumer along with the process has always been part of how we do things,” she emphasizes. “We like to keep an open dialogue and engage with the women who buy our clothes.” Her proven track record includes a clutch of bags codesigned with her shoppers’ input which she’s brought into being through partnerships with Polyvore, Nordstrom, and Saks.
Other designers are riding a similar wave. Tom Ford recently announced plans to show his fall collections in September. Burberry have decided to do away with season altogether and rename them September and February rather than spring and fall. Proenza Schouler announced right before New York Fashion Week that they will be including a capsule collection of buy-now-wear-now “Early Edition” ready-to-wear and bags on their fall 2016 runway. And while Misha Nonoo plans to skip this coming fashion week altogether and show her fall collection in September along with the others, Topshop has long been ahead of the curve by offering women the chance to preorder items from their Unique show as they watch it live streamed from fashion week.
It’s a sign that the industry is rapidly changing to meet the demands of shoppers like you. Rather than keep the season’s clothes purely for editors and buyers to see, there’s now something of an open door policy. Indeed, the CFDA are currently musing over whether the type of fashion week model Minkoff, Tom Ford and Burberry are opting for, should be made the fashion week norm. All things considered, it seems that designers are coming to that conclusion themselves. As Minkoff puts it: “Fashion Week should be for everybody; that’s really the future.”