CFDA Debate Heats Up: Have they found a solution?

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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07:  Models walk the runway during the Rebecca Taylor show finale at Center 548 on September 7, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images)
Photo: Courtesy of Flickr.com

On Thursday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, otherwise known as the CFDA, came in touch with retailers who agree that there needs to be a change within the fashion show system. However many have found themselves asking the same head-scratching question- how?

The contrasting answers and opinions about a solution varied and the conversation heated up.

The launch of the study at the beginning of the new season set the opportunity for designers all over the globe to try and make a jump to retail-oriented and consumer-friendly shows. Many are beginning to refer to these innovative displays of talent and collection as “buy-now capsules.”

Brands like Burberry and Tom Ford felt taking a shift early to the way they plan to produce their shows in September was beneficial to their overall success in the eyes of their consumer demographics.

These two top gun brands making the do or die jump this past show season made a great divide among global fashion cities into two firmly opposing sides: New York and London, who seem to be willing to lean into more in-season consumer friendly shows, verses Milan and Paris, who seem to be steadfast in sticking to the current format of show presentation.

Tom Ford and Burberry were not the only brands to feature “buy now” capsule-type shows this past show season. Designers such as Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Lela Rose, Theory and Tory Burch also presented their latest work in this format for fall 2016. Designer Rebecca Minkoff also saw major success in her #seebuywear presenation. The show featured spring designs as well as seventeen new pieces. Being that a third of her audience were consumers- this translated extremely well in sales revenue post show.

The CFDA as well as Boston Consulting Group conducted approximately fifty interviews with industry professionals, most being American, about this shift, how it may affect them or major brands they are associated with, as well as their visions for the big picture in future seasons to come.

Instead of reaching on a firm decision on how to proceed, the CFDA had stated officially this week that all future approaches will depend on the private discretion on the brand and how they wish to present: by presenting their collections in “buy now” capsules proven to be consumer friendly, or hold steadfast to traditional ways.

-by Meghan Fazio