Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rational Thinking Returns to Fashion Week

Former ELLE editor and renowned fashion commentator Jacquie Myburgh reported last week in her “Fashionising Business” column(The Times) that SA Fashion Week was introducing a new approach to fashion week, which would involve a session between buyers and designers. This will foster a business culture at fashion week, allowing for a much needed interaction between the two. What is the point of showing if all that happens afterwards for the designer is an interview on the “Showbizz Report” and very little to show in terms of revenue for the exposure that fashion week affords? This is an approach that will surely be welcome by all in the fashion industry, or at least those who really care for the amelioration of South Africa’s fashion industry.

SA Fashion Week’s new strategy is reflective of a new era being ushered in internationally, where designers are relooking their business models and deciding the time is ripe for fashion week to be more than just a show platform.
Marc Jacobs, for instance, felt celebrities are “so last season” going against the obviously de rigueur culture of star-studded front rows at his New York show this month.
Observers also note that the collections at New York fashion week reflected less of a red-carpet ready rationale, but more practicality. They also say that the new mindset is borne out of legitimate fashion industry players are increasingly getting annoyed with the presence of “Z-lister” celebrities hogging the fashion week limelight for publicity reasons and designers showing only to have Hollywood’s Who’s-whos browsing the rails for their next red-carpet number whilst getting zero dollars in return.
I cannot wait to see how the new fashion week strategy will pan out for designers, but methinks this will be the beginning of a new era, where tangible growth and sales will be realizable.

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