According to Sportswear International, IMG Fashion has chosen Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Australia to launch just such a venture in ecommerce. The first of it's kind. Fashion Week Australia is currently in progress and designers are showing their Spring/Summer 2014-2015 collections (seasons work differently Down Under). After the show, consumers can go onto the MBFW Boutique site and purchase the items months before they hit retail. Whether this means you'll get the item immediately or just a few months prior remains to be seen. Either way, the idea is revolutionary.
The fashion industry has lost that level of exclusivity it once had since designers discovered over a decade ago that it was more profitable to encourage the democratization of fashion. Now years later, there are designer collaborations with fast fashion brands, fashion famous personal style bloggers, crowds of street photographer bait at Lincoln Center and let's not forget the now defunct Fashion's Night Out. All of this has served to bring an almost feverish level of excitement about fashion among consumers that is surely becoming the zeitgeist of this decade.
The latest venture in this movement has been the livestreaming of runway shows. This is not new, but the amount of designers and brands participating in this medium has grown over the last few seasons. This has occurred despite reservations about the necessity of it. After all, consumers are not buyers or editors. Be that as it may, if the Australian model proves successful and expands across other fashion weeks, the relationship between designers, buyers, editors and consumers would be altered, if not altogether changed.Designers would literally be selling their collection directly to the consumer with no middle media man.
From a trade perspective, this could wreak havoc on the manufacturing pipeline, seasonal collections and turnaround times, but it could also mean less reliance on buyers and editors to decide what's cool. The power of decision would be placed directly into the hands of the consumer. That kind of direct feedback is invaluable to any brand. It could also provide more leverage to those designers who rely on stores to stock their product. I know I've felt frustrated more than once visiting a showroom and loving an item only to discover that buyers didn't show any interest in it.
So after all that, what does this all mean? Easy. Style.com/shopping