Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Does it end with fashion week?

Catalogue, couture and commercial are the three C's of fashion. I don't have to explain the meanings do I? Looking at the fashion landscape in our country one must conclude that most of our designers, however commercial they may be, are forced to go the catalogue route; i.e: sell garments by order because very few designers' garments make it into the store shelves.
I have no insider information, but I think I must be forgiven for asking the question; why do buyers got to fashion week in this country? Like I said, forgive me if I'm wrong, but how many of the designers that show at fashion week can boast that their line has been snapped up by some or other big retailer?
It leaves me wondering what fashion week is about. Is it about making a name for oneself as a designer, showcasing talent and wowing the fashion faithful? Is it about entertainment or business? Is it a glorified festival, where anybody with enough cash to put together a collection can just get onto the platform and sell their garments? Is it about setting trends and touching down with the fan base? Is it about playing dress up, meeting and greeting whilst blowing kisses in the air? Is it about artistry?
I wonder if designers consciously go into fashion week knowing exactly what their goal is because from where I stand I think few of them go there with any other intention except to garner attention for the duration of their show, disappearing immediately after fashion week and spending the period inbetween praying and hoping that some fashion lover out there will be at the other end of the line when the phone rings.
Fashion week is only but one marketing platform. Designers need to find other means and ways to stay relevant beyond fashion week. As the old English saying goes; "Out of sight, out of mind." Think about it.
As for the buyers; I'm still not sure if their presence at fashion week is all that neccessary- at least not in this country. I hope I am totally wrong on this one.

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