“When you try to explain how fashion works to people not in fashion, it’s impossible. Nobody can understand it”.
With these words, published recently in The New York Times, the Belgian designer Dries Van Noten summed up the problem denounced in the open letter he co-signed with Marine Serre, Thom Browne, Craig Green, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, the CEO of Acne Studios Mattias Magnusson as well as representatives of world-renowned retailers such as La Rinascente, Antonioli, Selfridges, Mytheresa, Nordstrom and United Arrows.
The goal of the group led by Van Noten is to normalize the retail calendar and synchronize the fashion seasons with those of the year.
“It is not normal to buy winter clothes in May. It doesn’t make sense to me. And it’s not respectful to the customer who buys at full price to see it marked down 50 percent six weeks later. ” – Dries Van Noten
From the group’s point of view, the coronavirus crisis can become the chance to recalibrate the production rhythms of fashion, avoid overproduction, promote less succumbing creativity to the more organic commercial and retail dynamics logic that do not necessarily depend on discounts to free up their warehouses. Specifically, the group would like to move the Fall/Winter season between August and January and the Spring/Summer between February and July with end-of-season discounts placed in January and July instead of November and May. At the moment, in fact, the autumn collections arrive in stores in July and the spring collections in January: a misalignment that according to the group led by Van Noten would cause fewer sales, resulting in an increase in inventories disposed of through discounts.