REDEFINING FASHION WEEK
The CFDA's official Fashion Week calendar is losing its command over designer's participation in the event. Brands are debuting collections through intimate showroom invites, secret Intagram reveals, and the latest, a #KimClones meme series orchestrated by Kanye West for Yeezy Season 6.
The break from the calendar has favored some. Tommy Hilfiger's see-now-buy-now collection sold out after premiering during in-season shows, and Rodarte has skipped the runway altogether to release a digital lookbook alternative. "The long-term strategy is really a budget consideration for designers, and this is a cheap way to show a collection," said Laurie De Jong, a fashion week producer who operates LDJ Productions.
Experimentation with direct-to-consumer approaches are eminent for NYFW, but we forecast a shift to the pre-season schedule after Alexander Wang's switch. Designers will ultimately follow and take advantage of the design and production flexibility that June and December showings offer.
NOT-SO-FARFETCHED STORE TECH
Farfetch, the online marketplace long revered for its access to more than 700 international luxury brands, plans to revolutionize the shopping experience for its customers yet again.
The London-based online retailer purchased native brick-and-mortar boutique Browns in 2015, and has plans to introduce mobile wishlist technology and customer-to-sales associate communication tools to be used in-store (i.e. please don't bother me - I'm just browsing.) Farfetch plans to test the technology within select boutique partners worldwide.
SNAPCHAT TURNS TO RETAIL
Disney has extended its brand across channels by selling licensed merchandise for decades, and in a similar attempt, Snapchat will be selling through its platform in a 'Snap Store.'
Instead of leveraging the app for brand partnerships to secure another revenue stream, Snapchat is reserving its store for branded merch only, and has limited the e-commerce content abilities from brands and influencers. In comparison to its (major) competitor Instagram, who provides linked product tags, swipe-up hyperlinks, and checkout buttons on shoppable content, Snap wants to focus on building app loyalty.
You'll see plush hotdogs, Snap ghosts tees, and hats - but will it render an increase in loyalty? Given Snap's recent competitive struggles against Instagram, we're not completely convinced this is the answer.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE INFLUENCER
We weren't kidding when we said 2018 is the year of the influencer. But to retailers, does it matter if they are actually real? Computer Generated Influencers (CGIs) like @lilmiquela are being featured in fashion content including Area and Paper Magazine.
Fashion's first CGI who harbors over 500k Instagram followers is more than a digital personality (she claims). She's an artist who creates music, expresses unpopular opinions despite the backlash, and "is true to herself at the end of the day." We can agree, as her authenticity hasn't gone noticed. Retailers have begun to send her promotional samples, products, and collaboration proposals.
Digital celebrities aren't new - think the 2000's music group Gorillaz - and imagination's the limit as for what's next in virtual reality.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Bundle packaging is no longer only for members of Sam's Club, Costco, or BJ's. The buy-one-buy-all special is being adopted by retailers, carrying a new and improved mokiner "The Kit."
Kits are certainly nothing new, especially in the fast-food realm where consumers benefit when buying items together in meals. Now, fashion's Happy Meals are being promoted to make shopping easier and daily routines seamless, while limiting inventory risks for retailers.
"We wanted to provide a solution for people, something that was considered and evolved and complete, so that it took a lot of the thought out of the process [of getting dressed]," says fashion designer Josh Goot.
Kits + convenience - will consumers bite?