Michael Kors is the latest brand to announce that it will no longer be running along with the traditional fashion calendar. The American designer has said that his team will now only be releasing two collections a year, will be skipping New York Fashion Week this September and will sell its clothes to retailers before revealing them to the public.
"I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change," Kors said in a released statement. "It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar — from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe — about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work. We’ve all had time to reflect and analyse things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era."
Michael Kors will now only produce two collections per year, one for spring/summer and one for autumn/winter and it will deliver these incrementally to stores, rather than selling entire collections all at once.
He is the latest in a long line of designers who are throwing out the old calendar and finding a new, more modern way to make it work. Saint Laurent announced that it would be leaving the Paris Fashion Week calendar behind in favour of adopting its own approach, while Gucci also announced that it would be stepping back from its traditional way of working, cutting back from five to two shows per year.
These announcements follow an open letter signed by the likes of Dries van Noten, Erdem Moralioglu, Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Tory Burch, Craig Green, and the designers behind Proenza Schouler proposing a clear plan for transforming the industry. This involved switching the seasonal calendar around and cutting back on markdowns.
Meanwhile, the BFC and the CFDA teamed up on a joint manifesto urging designers and businesses to "reset and rethink" their current business models. Within this, it stressed that brands should have no more than two main collections a year, but encouraged them to show on the fashion calendar in one of the global fashion capitals "in order to avoid the strain on buyers and journalists travelling constantly".
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