Entries in Recession (2)
The recession, disappearing storefronts, a spike in unemployment and the grim future of print publications have all contributed to the weak state of fashion today. Which leaves us to argue over the relevance of fashion week in Today's world.
Yesterday morning, the Council of Fashion Designers of America met at FIT to discuss the dire state of the fashion industry. Specifically: DoesFashion Week still make sense? Diane von Furstenberg (council prez) explained the effect of the Web to a room full of fashions finest (and oldest!). In this Age of Internet, showcasing clothing six months before it becomes seasonal only leads to preemptive knockoffs, early markdowns, and deeply confused consumers- explained DVF.
Consumers want looks straight off the runway; designers dress celebrities in clothes not yet available to the public; clothes arrive in stores too soon- and by the time they're actually in season its most likely discounted. There is too much supply and very little demand--leaving consumers confused and designers with a hole in their pockets.
Other designers in attendance suggested things like- showing clothing and reforming fashion's timeline so that fall styles corresponded with fall weather. Perhaps shipping wear-now looks instead of pre-fall could help- suggested Elie Tahari. And in her siganture 'Wintouring' style-Anna Wintour floated the idea of designers colluding on rules for when retailers could start discounting, causing DVF to gasp "That's illegal!." AW went on to say "Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now!"
This was all met by quirky lil' Aunt Betsey (as I like to call her) who suggested brightening up the shows with pink and green Christmas lights--which was obviously followed by a long silent awkward pause. Clearly, the industry still has some serious brainstorming to do before they find an actual solution.
What do you think should happen?