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The Council of Fashion Designers of America is acknowledging that the current fashion week schedule doesn't make sense anymore in the era of social media, and WWD reports that the organization is taking real steps to try to fix the fashion calendar.
The CFDA just hired Boston Consulting Group to produce a study on the future of fashion shows, querying designers and industry experts to see if they would rather show merchandise as it's about to hit stores, instead of one season ahead as they do in the current schedule. BCG's report will offer pros and cons to making the fashion shows more consumer-driven as opposed to an industry event.
The study is starting in 2016 and won't have an impact on February's NYFW. This appears to be part of the CFDA's reshaping of NYFW: last season, the organization unveiled a new logo and branding campaign for New York Fashion Week.
The CFDA's research comes on the heels of Rebecca Minkoff's announcement yesterday that the brand will pivot its fashion shows to focus on in-season merchandise for an audience of consumers. Meanwhile, Thakoon is trying out a new "show now, see now, buy now, wear now" approach.
"We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows. Something’s not right anymore because of social media, people are confused," CFDA boardchairman Diane von Furstenberg told WWD. "We have some ideas. Everyone seems to feel that the shows being consumer-driven is a very good idea."
Possible scenarios discussed by the CFDA include keeping the dates as they are but showing fall in September and spring in February. Designers could stage fashion shows for shoppers with in-season merchandise, but invite press and retailers for showroom presentations six months beforehand.
Von Furstenberg said that "everything needs to be rebooted," and that when consumers see an outfit on Instagram or a website, they want to buy it now, not six months from now. As for the system now, von Furstenberg said: "The only people who benefit are the people who copy it."