Fashion Week's Current Structure Needs to Change, CFDA's Study Confirms

Tory Burch Runway SS 16 - H 2016
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Suggestions have also been provided on how the system can be improved.

After announcing that it would be hiring the Boston Consulting Group to conduct an extensive study on the future of fashion week's current structure, the Council of Fashion Designers of America on Thursday released the research results.

The study, which was conducted over the past six weeks, included formal interviews with more than 50 fashion industry stakeholders, including designers, executives, wholesalers, editors and show organizers.

The study doesn't offer a clear-cut solution for fixing the current system, but instead declares that the overall consensus with their interviewees is that "the time is ripe for change in our market." Clearly that's not a huge surprise, as the industry at large has been expressing their frustrations with the current system as of late and taking next steps to try new methods (case in point: designers testing the "see-now, buy-now" model).

In response to the three key challenges that were addressed in the study — the in-season model, the customer's perception of newness and the increase in creative burnout with designers — CFDA offered several potential models for the future.

Those solutions include hosting intimate presentations for buyers and press ahead of the collection's deliveries; bi-annual, in-season activations designed for consumers that can take place during or after New York Fashion Week; and a capsule collection that would be shoppable after the presentation. Alternative ideas suggested were merging men's and women's shows (a model that Burberry is trying in September); combining the main and pre-collections; or working with the timing of pre-collections (December and June).

In conclusion, the study said "it is up to the brands to decide what works best for them" and CFDA will be there to support the designers as they "experiment and define what is right for their collections." Here's to seeing what goes down next season.