Actually it takes me back to a very thought-provoking prediction by Danielle, who suggested, “Fashion weeks have lost their relevance and will die off.” She covers many aspects to support her theory (it’s actually very interesting and I highly suggest to take a read if you have not already) which, I think highlights the importance of re-adjusting the North American fashion week format to better adapt to our changing times.
It’s a little delayed, but consider this post a follow-up discussion to her “just a thought” post back in January.
With our growing economic woes, designers and fashion powerhouses have become more cautious with their investments. Fashion week is great for getting media and industry reviews, but for the amount of money invested into showing their collections, are there realistically enough sales generated to make this a worthwhile investment? As Danielle mentioned and from the number of designers that have opted not to show this season, it’s safe to assume, probably not.
The current state of our economy is forcing brands and designers to be more creative and strategic with their spending. Which by the way is not such a bad idea. Trimming down on frivolous spending by companies encourages those who want to do or still be in business to bring out there A game. Especially the PR industry.
*Side note – Personally I think this is a great way to weed out the “so called” people who say they do PR and those who legitimately, can put together a PR plan and outside the box strategies. There is a lot of pressure on publicists who are working with designers showing this season. Sure they will be dealing with a shortage of available seating, but it’s not all about getting the who’s who’s to sit in that room, they also need to consider if there is anything happening from a PR perspective before and after the fashion show. In my opinion a good PR person will not overlook that.*
The power of the Internet and social media tools has arisen as a popular way to effectively market and promote a brand. While it is excellent that fashion companies are finally adapting to these tools, I don’t think fashion weeks will lose its relevance. Taking advantage of the Internet and social media is a great way for designers and brands to bridge the gap between the exposure from fashion week and the lack of communication and understanding to and of their consumers/possible consumers. Although this does not directly equate to more sales, creatively reaching out, listening and understanding your customers/possible customers is always a good thing!
My guess is, as the economy picks up designers will revisit the traditional means of debuting their new collections. They will continue to entertain the industry and media at the socially deemed, glitzy and glamorous event; fashion week, as well as continue to interact and engage their consumers directly using the web and other creative means.
In any case I agree with Danielle, “the value in showing at fashion weeks needs to be corrected” and I think in Canada’s case, less is more.