The fashion industry is evenly divided on the see-now, buy-now business model. For every major fashion house that embraces the new format (like Prada and Moschino), there’s an industry bigwig that rejects it completely.
François-Henri Pinault (CEO of Kering, which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen) is staunchly against the change in delivery. He believes the immediacy “negates the dream” of luxury, and the six-month wait creates desire. “There are some brands for which a runway show is a communications event,” he told Bloomberg. “What we will decide will be what suits our brands and our vision of luxury.”
Karl Lagerfeld echoes his sentiments. “This way is chaos,” he told the Financial Times backstage at Fendi. “The reality is that you have to give people the time to make their choice, to order the clothes or handbags, and to produce them beautifully so that editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything.”
The new model entails showing the collection to editors and buyers six months before it hits the runway. Lagerfeld rejects this idea as well, explaining that you “show it to the editors and somebody will see it anyway.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t believe change is on the horizon. “The world is changing — not always for the best — but we have to follow the changes and the internet, but there is a way of doing it, you know? It’s not just about talking bullshit,” he said. “Chanel makes six collections per year, but I make already one — the capsule — that is not shown to the press, to nobody. The day it comes out is the day the stores get a document.”
And true to form, Lagerfeld plans to embrace today’s digital culture in a unique way. “Now I want to do something else — perhaps it’s too early to talk about it — to make a special collection only for the internet,” he said. “Fifteen things, you buy them and you get them immediately.”
[via Vogue UK]