Michael Kors has reignited the debate about the fashion calendar. The New York-based designer will not host a runway show in September, preferring to reveal his collection to the world sometime between mid-October and mid-November via a presentation, the details of which have yet to be defined. According to the brand, this move away from the catwalk could last until February 2021.
The brand’s plan is to return its Michael Kors Collection to the production and presentation of two collections per year, one for Spring/Summer, the other for Fall/Winter, in order to allow for “a more streamlined approach on the sales floor.” The decision comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in disruptions in the current fashion system, with its frantic rhythms of overproduction, and has served as something of a wake-up call for designers.
“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 Kors in a release.
Product deliveries will be planned to arrive gradually in stores each season in order to respond more directly to the needs of consumers, announced the label. “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,” explained the designer.
According to Kors, September and March will still be “key months in launching the beginning of seasonal selling for 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,” he said. The designer is still evaluating the best way to present his Fall/Winter collection to the public and the press, but clarified that it will probably be “sometime between mid-March and mid-April.”
The American house will now organize itself so as to sell its collections to retailers before they are presented to the public and the press, thereby giving the logistics and production chain time to manufacture and distribute products, and creating a healthier rhythm of production.
Giorgio Armani was one of the first brands to call on the fashion industry to react in order to “repair what’s not working,” “cut out superfluous production” and “rediscover a more human dimension.” In April, Saint Laurent followed suit and announced that it was pulling out of the Parisian fashion calendar in 2020 “in order to follow its own agenda.” In May, it was Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s turn to explain that he was going to adopt his own rhythm, specifying that he will not host a runway show in September but confirming that he will participate in Milan’s digital fashion week in July.
In parallel, Belgium’s Dries Van Noten and young French designer Marine Serre released a manifesto signed by a number of small fashion houses and retailers, including Chloé, Thom Browne, Y/Project, Lemaire, Alexandre Mattiussi, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. In the document they called for real change in the fashion industry through a reduction in production, travel and promotions, as well as more eco-friendly runway shows.
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