The combination of social media and fast fashion is detrimental to the designer industry. This has been proven countless times as multiple Instagram posts appearing in real time as designers show their collection on the runway. With posts circulating the web, retail brands are able to produce versions of the designs faster than designers themselves can put the original on display in their atelier. By then, fashion consumers are already tired of the trend.
IMAGE Tom Ford
In an effort to combat this dilemma, fashion houses have bravely tapped into instant gratification as far as their collections are concerned. Big names like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff and Thakoon made sure that their collections were already available online and already in store right after their show.
IMAGE Randy Brooke via Getty Images
Ralph Lauren sees this move not as a risky one, but as a response to their clientele’s evolving needs and as an expression of luxury. In one of his interviews, he says, “[This is] offering you every look, every accessory, every handmade detail immediately in my flagship stores around the world and online.... From the very beginning I've always designed with you in mind. You are changing the way you live and the way you want to shop, and we are changing with you and for you.”
IMAGE Rebecca Minkoff
While shoppable runway means having a limited number of stocks per design—thus begging for keener foresight on the designer’s end—it also translates thrill and excitement among buyers. This leads to developing a sense of urgency for consumers to buy the latest, a thought that has long been absent from their minds as they know designer pieces take long to reach boutiques. The waiting game then leads consumers to settle for fast fashion that satisfies their need to keep up with the newest trends. Additionally, the “see now, buy now” trend brings an instant spike in sales which challenges designers to keep their e-commerce strategies in tiptop shape.
While it’s too early to predict the rise or fall of the “see now, buy now” trend among fashion houses, the real test lies on their retail component plan. They must develop the ability to quickly replenish pieces that immediately sell out in order to supply the consumers’ demands. Otherwise, buyers fall back to whoever can instantly gratify their purchasing whims.
Main image illustrated by Gab Gutierrez
Photos from Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff and Randy Brooke via Getty Images