Burberry and Tom Ford made waves last year when they declared that they were moving to a “see now, buy now” model. For Burberry, that meant consolidating all lines into a single seasonless show and making several items available for immediate purchase. For Tom Ford, it was making select items available almost immediately after a private show at the Four Seasons. Burberry and Tom Ford were among the first brands to pioneer the shift, but L2’s latest study on Fashion Week suggests the idea of immediately buying runway items is no longer novel; 21% of brands with a Fashion Week runway show in 2016 incorporated some sort of direct-to-consumer e-commerce in their presentation. Rebecca Minkoff made almost all looks available for immediate purchase. Approximately half of the merchandise debuted in Topshop’s Spring 2017 fashion show were available in stores immediately after. Club Monaco also combined men’s and women’s shows and made items available for purchase immediately.
It’s difficult to quantify the effects of the transition to an immediate purchase model because many brands have just begun dipping their toe. For example, Alexander Wang dropped a surprise collaboration with Adidas on at the end of his runway show, and made just the limited edition line available instantly. And Tommy Hilfiger sold nautical daywear items (i.e. sweatshirt, t-shirts) after the carnival themed Tommy x Gigi event, but consumers must wait to purchase main collections from the designers.