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In order to preserve a sense of immediacy for his consumers, Wang is flipping the practice: Instead of pushing up the ability to buy the clothing early, he's bumping back the "see" piece — a.k.a. unless you're a retailer or editor, you won't see photos of the Resort 2017 collection, which is being presented to industry insiders in June, until it hits stores in November.
Well, with a slight exception: A selection of the collection, including ready-to-wear, bags, and shoes, will be sprinkled into his New York Fashion Week Spring 2017 show in September.
Save for those items, all of the people who see or have access to his resort lookbook can't report or write anything about the images until November.
Still confusing? That's because it is. Why mix resort pieces with the spring items if you don't want people to write about them? Social media snaps from the September show are sure to be immediately available as soon as it wraps — why keep the rest under wraps until November?
Here's what Wang himself had to say about the matter in an interview with WWD earlier today:
"We have found that this shortened timeline between seeing the collection and it being available in stores creates a sense of immediacy and generates excitement at the retail level."
In short, Wang is trying another tactic to solve for one of the fashion industry's biggest modern problems: not being able to produce and get clothing into stores as fast as social media and the Internet can spread them.
Keeping the excitement factor of fashion alive for consumers is a problem for a lot of designers — especially since lookbook images of collections spread like wildfire on Instagram and Twitter months before they hit stores. It's also an issue because, while social media salivates and awaits the chance to actually buy the clothes, fast-fashion retailers like Zara and Forever 21 can take a swing at them themselves, sending the trends sparked by designers into stores faster than the designers themselves can.
Wang isn't the first one to try a "see now, buy now" method to solve for this lag time. He joins the likes of Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, and Burberry with his desire for immediacy. The other designers' tactic — making things available to buy sooner, rather than keeping photos under wraps for longer — is a whole hell of a lot easier to understand on the surface, though. But if this is Wang's way of keeping fast-fashion vultures at bay, we're interested to see how it all plays out.