Friday, February 22, 2013

SaimaSays: The "Business" of Fashion Shows

Over the past few weeks, New York Paris, London and Milan have also showcased their design talent through fashion shows. Fashion shows generally display looks that will hit the markets in about 6-7 months time, apparently giving buyers, manufacturers, and stylists time to figure out what works and doesn't and then manufacture what does work for the mass and pseudo-mass markets. 

For the average consumer it can be quite perplexing - why am I looking at fashion shows all over my Internets that have nothing to do with my life right now? AND even if I could afford this designer gear, I can't actually access it for another 6 months? Pssshh. By the time the actual season hits, we most likely have forgotten what the shows were about anyways. Wait, was it stripes? Or Fur? Or leather? Happens all the time! Can you tell me what's in store for Spring 2013? No clue? Well I'll have the down low for you in an upcoming post, no need to get your panties in a bunch (what the hell does that even mean?? Do your panties ever bunch? Wtf?).

Anyways, this is a huge problemo that designers and the corporations who own them often contend with. In an era of instant gratification, can designers really afford to be so far removed from the actual consumer? Nowadays fashion shows are seen as a giant marketing ploy, where all kinds of media is invited (including bloggers) in hopes of creating a "buzz". Okay, so a buzz is created, but in our fickle memories does it translate into sales? And aren't there much more affordable ways to create a "buzz"?

I often wonder how designers turn a profit, well the answer is sadly that many don't. They are either employees of a corporation or rely on foreign financiers, which is a dangerous and unstable business model.  Don't the investors want a return? I think the fashion industry needs to re-evaluate its 'business model'. With new marketing platforms like social media taking over, and growing e-commerce trend, where do these designers fit in? When will actually start selling the looks they display so comprehensively from every show, instantly? When can I as a consumer get the look right away? Isn't that where we're headed? I think the industry is in a period of immense transition, perpetuated greatly by the 2008 recession. 

As someone who started out in this industry recently, it can be an exciting albeit scary prospect . Everything I knew and dreamt about the industry is rapidly changing, however maybe there are new opportunities to be had in this wild frontier.

I would love to hear what you think either as in industry insider or a potential consumer.  In the meantime, I decided to pick a few of my favorites from New York Fashion Week (clothes I can't afford and can't access until September or something). Here are my 3 favourite shows from NYFW:

1) MARC JACOBS: Usually Marc Jacobs has some element of ironic fantasy to his shows but this one was decidedly sobre. I personally loved it.

2) THE ROW: If I could have a closet full of The Row, I'd wear it everyday, 24/7..

 3) VICTORIA BECKHAM: Surprised by how much I loved this collection, Victoria Beckham has really come a long way from her Spice Girl days!

What do you think about the business of fashion shows?? Are they still relevant??

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