The see-now, buy-now approach is nothing new to the fashion industry, but up until now, many designers have stayed loyal to the usual fashion calendar, presenting collections for a season that's still months away. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, designers are now rallying around the idea of showing clothes in real time, meaning no more months of waiting for designer items to hit real or online shelves.
Designer Dries Van Noten is leading the way, posting an open letter along with other designers and fashion industry leaders, calling for an upheaval to the typical industry operations.
"When you try to explain how fashion works to people not in fashion, it's impossible. Nobody can understand it," he told The New York Times.
In the "Open Letter to the Fashion Industry," the group proposes presenting and selling collections in the corresponding seasons, meaning fall/winter will be shown and sold from August to January and spring/summer collections from February to July.
The letter also mentions improved sustainability tactics with the new schedule, including less waste in fabrics and inventory, an increase in digital showrooms, and less travel.
So far, the letter has been signed by a slew of fashion designers and executives, including Joseph Altuzarra, Gabriela Hearst, Mary Katrantzou, Pete Nordstrom, Thom Browne's CEO Rodrigo Bazan, Tory Burch, and more.
"None of these things we are talking about are crazy or outrageous," Shira Sue Carmi, chief executive of Altuzarra, told The New York Times. "They are common sense. We know what we need to do."
Click here to read the full letter.