Can Fashion Shed Its Seasons?
VOGUE India|August 2020
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Can Fashion Shed Its Seasons?
For long, fashion has centred on the concepts of spring/summer and autumn/winter—and, later, cruise and resort. Is it time for a rethink? Is “so last season” still a bad thing?
Shalini Shah

On May 24, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele took to Instagram to contemplate the way the world did things—and lay out his vision for Gucci—in a post titled Appunti dal Silenzio (‘Notes from the Silence’). Translated into con-crete action, he announced that the brand would be doing away with “the worn-out ritual of seasonalities” and present just two shows a year.

For decades, organised fashion has been built around the concept of seasons. Spring/ summer and autumn/winter, where shows take place in September and March respectively and deliveries happen six months later, have been the pivot on which clothes are made, stores stock up and fashion publications plan their editorials.

Then, in mid-March, the world went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to supply chain disruptions, loss of revenue and the threat of surplus inventory. Several smaller fashion labels shut shop. Cumulatively, this has been spurring a rethink on the established way of doing things—notably, the fashion seasons.

How relevant, or not, is the concept of season in fashion now? We asked five industry experts—across fashion publishing, design, sustainability, and retail—to weigh in.

Michael Kors

designer

On brand Michael Kors and seasonless fashion

“The reality is, most of the world lives in climatecontrolled spaces, so the concept of a very seasonal product has become a bit too traditional. The customer doesn’t really care what ‘season’ something is from; they just want to be able to walk into a store, fall in love with something, and wear it right away.”

On longevity versus excitement

“You have to really know your customer and how they live, so that you can predict what they’re going to want and need. I like taking what women reach for every day and finding ways to twist them just a little so that they feel fresh and modern.”

On the shift to seasonless

“I love glamour, but I’m also very pragmatic, which gives a lot of our pieces a year-round appeal. I’m always thinking about how full looks can be taken apart—how a sweater can pair with a breezy skirt or a pair of jeans. Women today are looking for great items that they can add to their wardrobes and wear in a lot of different ways.”

On the fashion calendar

“This pandemic has given us a chance to step back and really think about how we do business—realigning the fashion calendar and shifting our deliveries. We’re talking to our customers and retailers and deciding what makes the most sense for us moving forward.”

Natalie Kingham

fashion and buying director, Matchesfashion.com

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August 2020