Just hours after Burberry announced it would be adopting a "see now, buy now" model for its future runway shows — and buzzy, antiestablishment French label Vetements revealed that it would no longer adhere to the fashion calendar — another very high-end label is following suit. On Friday morning, Tom Ford released a statement that he, too, would be presenting his fall 2016 women's and men's collections in early September to coincide with the delivery of his clothes in stores. The line will be available for immediate purchase both online and in-store the same day as the runway show, and to accommodate this new format, the designer will cancel all press appointments during the forthcoming New York Fashion Week.
In a press release, the London-based designer referenced the "antiquated idea" that is debuting a collection a full four months before it is available to consumers. He said:
We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era. Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available. Fashion shows and the traditional fashion calendar, as we know them, no longer work in the way that they once did. We spend an enormous amount of money and energy to stage an event that creates excitement too far in advance of when the collection is available to the consumer. Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will remedy this, and allow the excitement that is created by a show or event to drive sales and satisfy our customers' increasing desire to have their clothes as they are ready to wear them."
While Ford has long experimented with different presentation models that eschew the traditional runway show, this marks the first time he will show both collections at the same time they are available in stores. (He debuted his fall 2015 collection in Los Angeles during Oscars season, and showed his spring 2016 line via a music video that starred Lady Gaga.)
As the CFDA is currently in the process of rethinking its Fashion Week format, will we see more brands jump on the consumer-facing bandwagon this season? Watch this space.