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The CFDA and BFC Join a Chorus of Industry Voices Calling for a Reset

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Last week Dries Van Noten wrote an open letter to the fashion community, signed by peers including Joseph Altuzarra, Mary Katrantzou, and Marco Zanini. It was followed days later by a Business of Fashion initiative with many of the same designer signatories. Both documents cited the need for radical change. The COVID-19 pandemic has crystallized the many challenges facing the industry, from the outmoded runway show system to the interrelated problems of out of sync deliveries and profitability eroding markdowns. Even as the lockdowns begin to lift, the crisis’s impact is reverberating—see: Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy, the closure of Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony stores, and the 800-plus designers and companies that have applied for the CFDA and Vogue’s A Common Thread grants.

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Today, it’s the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council’s turn to weigh in. The two organizations have issued a joint message to their respective members. Dubbed “The Fashion Industry’s Reset,” the letter covers similar ground, calling on the community to rethink the ways in which designers and brands do business and present collections. “We are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level,” it begins. What follows is a series of recommendations, starting with slowing down. “For a long time, there have been too many deliveries and too much merchandise generated. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers must also look at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them.” That means “focus[ing] on no more than two main collections a year,” and shifting the delivery cadence of merchandise “closer to the season for which it is intended.”

On the subject of fashion shows, the CFDA and BFC emphasize the importance, once the pandemic is over, of showing “during the regular fashion calendar and in one of the global fashion capitals.” Doing so would “avoid the strain on buyers and journalists traveling constantly.” But today’s letter does not go as far as the Business of Fashion proposal, which strongly encourages see-now-buy-now shows, “as events primarily designed to engage customers… just before deliveries arrive in stores.” (It’s worth noting that a handful of designers experimented with the see-now-buy-now formula several years ago, but it was abandoned by all but Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.)

Sustainability, which had been fashion’s cri de coeur in the months leading up to the coronavirus crisis, is another bullet point: “Through the creation of less product, with higher levels of creativity and quality, products will be valued and their shelf life will increase.”

The CFDA and BFC letter is the latest indication that the industry is starting to rally around the idea of change, but there are major players, especially in Europe, that have not yet joined the chorus. Perhaps that doesn’t matter. The last time the fashion show schedule shifted in any significant and lasting way was when Helmut Lang moved his show from Paris to New York circa fall 1998. A season later, all of New York was showing ahead of Europe, breaking decades of precedent. Now is the time for action, so who is 2020’s Helmut Lang?

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Fashion & Style

Walmart Taps Into $32 Billion Second Hand Clothing Market

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Retail giant Walmart

WMT
has found another way to profit during the pandemic with its new strategy of selling second hand clothes. The company has partnered with ThredUp, a resale marketplace for used fashion items like Chanel bags, Michael Kors clothing, Gucci accessories and Nike

NKE
shoes, to sell through its online platform. Among e-commerce apps, 26% of African American adults use Walmart at a higher rate than the total population, according to Nielsen. Lower-priced brand name goods may resonate with this demographic of Walmart shoppers at a time when millions of Americans are unemployed, or coping with pay cuts, as the company looks to tap into the $32 billion resale market.  

The Breakdown You Need To Know: 

CultureBanx noted that you know it’s a new day when Walmart and trendy online thrift stores join forces, especially if you consider the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Black people spend around 3% of their household expenditures on clothes, this could be a great way to save some money and stay in stylee. Not to mention that the resale market is expected to expand from $32 billion this year to $51 billion by 2023, according to research from ThredUp and GlobalData Retail. 

ThredUp bills itself as the largest online thrift store and offers more than 750,000 items across 2,000 brands. Customers will get free shipping from Walmart so long as they spend $35 or more, and items can be returned at nearby stores.

The head of Walmart’s e-commerce business in the U.S., told CNBC “We are absolutely seeing this as an opportunity to support a bigger portion of our customers’ closets.” The company declined to provide financial terms of the ThredUp deal.

Second Hand Profits:

Beyond customers closets, is the profit waiting to be made.Walmart can help drive up profitability of its e-commerce business, which has been unprofitable this far. The company’s e-commerce sales grew by 74% in Q1 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s possible that secondhand fashion items can help the retail giant drive greater returns. Shares of Walmart are up nearly 5% year to date. 

Thrift stores are no longer viewed as a place where low-income people shop, they attract more middle class consumers in search of vintage and one of a kind items. Walmart is vying for a way to better service this demographic with its e-commerce platform. For decades the company has dominated the grocery sector, but still lags in fashion despite several valiant efforts. They previously acquired plus-sized women’s apparel company Eloquii, along with ModCloth and menswear company Bonobos. ThredUp has partnerships with other retailers, including Gap

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and Macy’s

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.

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6-year-old guitarist takes social media by storm

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Miumiu, a six-year-old girl from eastern China’s Jiangsu province, has become an internet star for her videos showcasing her singing while playing …

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Maya Jama Sizzles In A Sports Bra And Skintight Leggings In Her Bedroom

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The British star showed off her skintight workout gear with weights on her feet.
Maya Jama wowed her fans this week when she took to Instagram stories …

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