In favor of a more responsible fashion, Michael Kors departs from the official runway calendar

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After Saint Laurent, Gucci and Giorgio Armani, it is now the emblematic Michael Kors’ turn to leave the traditional fashion show calendar. By announcing that it would present only two collections a year, as opposed to four previously, and abandon the ritual of seasonality, the American fashion giant wants to move away from the frenetic rhythm of fashion shows and reform an industry that has become outdated in order to draw the contours of a new world.


The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the designers’ determination to fundamentally reform the ruthless fashion industry.


Too fast, too excessive, too demanding, it had for years jeopardized the creativity of the greatest designers by imposing on them ever shorter deadlines and an ever higher level of performance.


For Michael Kors, as for many luxury houses, the challenge is therefore to slow down the pace imposed by the current fashion calendar – which is four Fashion Weeks a year for brands presenting women’s and men’s collections, or even six for those on the haute couture calendar – and to define new models for the future.


A less frenetic rhythm


The American fashion brand will now offer “only” two fashion collections a year – one for spring/summer and the other for autumn/winter, leaving behind the model of four collections a year but also cruise shows, pre-fall collections and other fashion extravagances. An approach that has been approved by many designers, such as Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, who is aiming for the same rhythm for the Italian house.


The purpose is to reduce a tyrannical pace and avoid huge investments for shows that only last ten minutes: “I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar—from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe—about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work. We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era.”  said the company solemnly in a news release.


Michael Kors also made the decision to abandon the ritual of seasonality and not present its next Spring/Summer 2021 collection at New York Fashion Week in September but in the autumn – between mid-October and mid-November – to get closer to its launch dates because “showing the collection as close as possible to the time it will be delivered makes much more sense” according to the company.


The luxury brand thus wishes to move away from the traditional six-month delay to avoid overproduction and unsold stocks. In fact, the company said it will now be gradually delivering garments to stores instead of dropping off entire collections at once and selling its collections to retailers before its public presentation to give its supply chain more time for production: “It is imperative that we give the consumer time to absorb the fall deliveries, which will just be arriving in September, and not confuse them with an overabundance of additional ideas, new seasons, products, and images” the company said.


A more rational fashion


The current fashion system – where brands develop collections several months before they are presented and sold – was seen as one of the major flaws that contributed to Covid-19’s financial losses. The system is indeed forcing brands to offer collections that do not correspond to the seasons, with warm clothes emerging in the middle of summer and spring dresses appearing in the middle of winter.


So it is against a chaotic and unrealistic consumer calendar that Michael Kors argues in favour of a more rational and seasonal rhythm: “I think it is also important to return to the idea that September and March are key months in launching the beginning of seasonal selling to the consumer. This is when key editorial and media content hit, when the weather is starting to change and when people are ready to absorb new collections and product — that they can wear and shop immediately. Keeping all of this in mind, we will also be reassessing when the fall-winter collection is released to the press and the public — most likely sometime between mid-March and mid-April.” the company explained.


The luxury fashion brand therefore wants to make the fashion industry more human, more reasonable, in line with customer needs, conform to the needs of society and attentive to the evolutions. At the same time, it also aims to make manufacturing more environmentally friendly, as an alternative to fast fashion, which is also becoming a new standard in the face of the current health and climate emergency.


Thus, it is certainly changing the fashion show calendar, but above all it is re-evaluating the way it designs, delivers, sells and updates its collections in order to rethink and reinvent fashion in a context of a renewed awareness.


Read also > Gucci launches new “homemade” campaign and resets its fashion calendar


Featured photo : © Michael Kors[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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