The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the British Fashion Council (BFC) recently encouraged brands, designers and retailers, who are used to fashion’s fast, unforgiving pace, to slow down. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers must also look at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them, the organisations said in a press release. For a long time, there have been too many deliveries and too much merchandise generated. There is a clear disconnect from when things arrive in store to when the customer actually needs them. The delivery cadence should shift closer to the season for which it is intended, they said.
From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, both the organisations have been in close communication, sharing feedback from their members and stakeholders. “We are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level….These changes have been overdue for a while, and the fallout from coronavirus has forced us all to prioritise the process of rethinking how our industry should function,” their statement said.
Both the organisations recommended designers to focus on no more than two main collections a year. This can provide talents with the time they need to reconnect to the creativity and craft that makes the field of fashion so unique, they said. A slower pace also offers an opportunity to reduce the stress levels of designers and their teams, which in turn will have a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of the industry, they said.
Once this crisis is over and non-virtual events can resume, the organisations recommended that brands should attempt to show during the regular fashion calendar and in one of the global fashion capitals in order to avoid the strain on buyers and journalists travelling constantly.
Sustainability is an important conversation in every industry. Through the creation of less product, with higher levels of creativity and quality, products will be valued and their shelf life will increase, they added.