Fashion When Alessandro Michele released his manifesto for change to Gucci’s 40.5 million Instagram followers last week, a fashion industry debate entered the public forum. Since the coronavirus crisis set in, many in fashion have eyed an opportunity to improve the way in which collections are presented to the public, when clothes arrive in stores—and when they go on sale.

Fashion

In recent weeks, a number of distinct groups have petitioned proposals that could pose major changes to your future shopping habits. Here, Vogue rounds up the options:

#RewiringFashion

Who is behind it?

Organised by The Business of Fashion, the proposal was created with designers Neil Barrett and Emilia Wickstead, Stefano Martinetto–owner of the fashion group Tomorrow Limited–and 61 founding signatories, from independent designers to CEOs and retailers on 14 May. It has since been signed by more than 1,800 members of the industry.

What would it mean for fashion shows?

#RewiringFashion wants fashion shows to take place just one month before the collections arrive in stores, effectively making the shows for the customers rather than for the industry. This way, you wouldn’t have to wait four or five months before you can get your hands on your most-wanted runway pieces. Fashion weeks would be genderless (doing away with separate women’s and men’s weeks) and scheduled for January/February and June. The initiative wants to terminate the public promotion of pre- collections, including the big brands’ cruise shows in exotic locations.

How would it affect the way we shop?

Cruise and pre-fall collections–the more commercial lines–would be sold to stores at the same time as the main collections. This means that pre-collections would arrive in stores in December/January and July/August, followed by main collections in February and September. This way, you could buy your winter coat when the weather is actually cold enough to wear it. The cut-price sales would be pushed to January and July, and there would be no more “in-season discounting” such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Chinese Singles Day.

What other impacts would it have for consumers?

For the brands, the pace of shows and deliveries could be eased, while the knock-off market wouldn’t have as much time to copy runway items. In order for magazine issues to coincide with in-store collection deliveries, long-lead press (such as magazines including British Vogue) would view and shoot collections months before the runway shows (or whichever way brands choose to present them) take place. This would reshape the dialogue between brands and the press, and the way consumers select and buy fashion.

Read the full proposal at Rewiringfashion.org.

Open Letter to the Fashion Industry

Who is behind it?

Dries Van Noten, who built his company from scratch and never believed in pre- collections, conceived the proposal with Andrew Keith of the Hong Kong-based department store Lane Crawford. The petition has been signed by designers, CEOs and retailers from the likes of Nordstrom, Chloé and Carolina Herrera since it was launched on 12 May.

What would it mean for fashion shows?

Unlike the #RewiringFashion proposal, fashion weeks would still take place six months before collections hit stores, giving you plenty of time to plan your season purchases. The open letter makes no mention of merging women’s and men’s fashion weeks, but their dates would be moved back to accommodate new store delivery dates (see below). All fashion weeks would likely happen in January/February and June/July. The initiative seeks to “renew and adapt fashion shows” but leaves this open to interpretation.

How would it affect the way we shop?

Like #RewiringFashion, items in stores would be aligned with the weather outside. You would be able to shop autumn/winter collections from August through to January and spring/summer collections from February through to July. Mid-season sales would probably get cancelled, while big sales would take place in January and July (instead of May and November). True to Van Noten’s spirit, the proposal makes no mention of pre- collections, which he traditionally incorporates into his main collections and offers to buyers through his showroom.

What other impacts would it have for consumers?

The open letter’s omittance of pre- collections is interesting. Rather than putting these commercial lines on a pedestal, we–as customers–wouldn’t necessarily see them until they hit stores. In that sense, pre- collections would reassume their originally-intended position as collections of “basics” inspired by the themes of the main collections.