“Follow sound business trends, not fashion ones”Janice Dickinson
Fashion Week is now just over a week away, it’s the most important week of the season for many, a place that carries an almost mythical place in our fashion year, but is it all it claims to be?
Well one thing is for sure as a hunting ground for both finding out what established designers have for us and a hunting ground for emerging talent I’ll be rushed off my feet, but is it delivering for the designers.
For decades it was a trade event, a place for designers to get seen, buyers abounded, the press would get the first looks to fill their pages and stylists would start making notes of what was going to be available to them.
But over time it’s drifted, the buyers have hopped on the last Eurostar out of town, so bad has the buying issue become that the BFC now take designers to a showroom in Paris to help!
The press, well we’re still losing a battle to the digital age, trying to find a USP in a world evolving faster than we can run, and it’s a frequent complaint that shows are full of famous people, or those trying to be.
With all this chaos and change it does bring forward the question of what designers are getting. For some it’s a genuine chance to find some coverage, for others it’s about being able to trade on the “showed in London” cache elsewhere, but for many it appears it’s just something they do as they believe it’s the way to build a label.
Well it isn’t, and fashion is famous for making more bad choices than Mickey Rourke. As I said in a podcast earlier in the year the fashion graveyard is full of labels that blew the budget on a show.
It’s a huge expense, and so often on that isn’t required, or isn’t part of a wider plan. There is no moment of stopping and asking the most important question of all at any time for anyone, WHY?
This season more than any other I’m approaching it with a sense of both excitement but also dread, I know that each day I’ll see a start-up that has poured everything they have into 7 minutes, and won’t see a return. A full room isn’t a full success, it’s what happens after.
How is each person in that room potentially contributing to the success of a label, will they be potential promoters, giving the oxygen of publicity to a wider audience, will they be a buyer, either commercially or personally adding revenue to the bottom line, or will they be getting a pic and waltzing off into the sunset of the next show?
One thing I can confirm is I will be there trying to find the best talent and the most amazing things to bring you. I’m sure we’ll be discussing these issues as well!