New York Fashion Week is less than a week away, but designers like Burberry and Tom Ford have already made news for deviating from traditional show schedules. Burberry will combine Men’s and Women’s collections starting September, and make the seasonless collections available immediately online and in stores. Window displays and media campaigns will change in sync with the shows to reflect the runway. Shortly after the Burberry announcement, Tom Ford released a statement saying it will present fall and winter collections in September, to coincide with their appearance in stores. The London-based designer said the annual fashion calendar is “from another era.” He pinpointed the problem with the traditional fashion calendar: creating excitement too far in advance of when items are ready for sale.
Fashion Week has led to a few of the biggest spikes in social media activity for brands. Michael Kors has capitalized on the event, perhaps more than any other Fashion brand, accounting for six of the ten most-liked fashion posts tagged with #NYFW during February 12 to 19 (dates of last year’s NYFW). Givenchy is another example of what a runway show can do for a brand; it gained 100,000 Instagram followers during the Spring/Summer 2016 show. And Valentino gained a spike in followers during Haute Couture Fashion Week due to a surprise appearance by Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as Derek Zoolander and Hansel.
While these results are noteworthy, are they worth anything if they don’t drive sales (because the promoted products haven’t been manufactured yet)? It’s no surprise that brands are thinking of ways to narrow the gap between the social traffic and product release, and perhaps even measure how these PR successes translate to profit.