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Fashion professionals call for seasonal adjustment to deliveries to "re-set" the industry

Tom Bottomley
13 May 2020

In a new online forum, a group of global fashion industry insiders, from CEOs to buyers and creative directors, have come together calling for an adjustment to the seasonality and flow of both womenswear and menswear goods – starting with AW20 – in an aim "re-set" the industry.

In a series of Zoom conferences this month, the group, which includes the likes of Dries Van Noten, Craig Green and Tony Burch, have called for a major rethink of how the fashion industry works, especially in relation to deliveries, to create greater in-season customer desirability and sales of full-price goods, less discounting and bigger efforts to increase sustainability.

An open letter to the industry reads: “We agreed that the current environment although challenging, presents an opportunity for a fundamental and welcome change that will simplify our businesses, making them more environmentally and socially sustainable and ultimately align them more closely with customers’ needs.

“We hope to achieve this by adjusting the seasonality and flow of both womenswear and menswear goods, starting with the AW20 season.”

The letter suggests putting the autumn/winter back in winter (August/January) and the spring/summer season back in summer (February/July) to create “a more balanced flow of deliveries” through the season to provide newness but also “time for products to create desire.”

It calls for discounts to be introduced at the end of the season, not throughout it or too early, in order to allow more full-price selling.

It also says the group will work to increase sustainability throughout the supply chain and sales calendar through less unnecessary product, less waste in fabrics and inventory, less travel and more making use of digital showrooms in addition to personal creative interactions, “while reviewing and adapting fashion shows.”

The message is one of unity: “Working together, we hope these steps will allow our industry to become more responsible for our impact on our customers, on the planet and on the fashion community, and bring back the magic and creativity that has made fashion such an important part of our world.”

The open letter is also signed by the likes of Linda Fargo of Bergdorf GoodmanErdem Moralioglu, Shelly Corkery of Brown Thomas, Michael Kliger of Mytheresa and Rodrigo Bazan of Thom Browne, and further signatures are encouraged via the web address: forumletter.org.

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