For the Masses

For almost everyone, including some people in the industry, the concept of Fashion Week can be a little confusing. The runways show clothes off six months before they’re available for almost anyone to buy. That’s why the shows are labelled “Spring/Summer” for no apparent reason in the middle of September. This adds to the exclusivity of Fashion Week. Sure, you can look at the clothes, but any old viewer can’t get their hands on it. That’s where things are changing, however. Christopher Bailey of Burberry, for example, announced that he would be showing his collections on a see now, buy now basis. His collection shown in September at London Fashion Week will simply be called “September.” I’ve admired Christopher for quite some time now. Burberry has always been at the forefront of the industry, especially when it comes to embracing technology. Burberry was the first company to livestream their runway shows, a major step in making fashion about the masses rather than only about an elite group of editors and socialites sitting front row. Burberry then partnered with Apple and live streamed their Spring 2014 show entirely on an iPhone. The success has been undeniable. Under Bailey’s guidance, Burberry is young and cool once again, largely because it’s managed to humanize itself. It’s accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Next week at London Fashion Week, buyers will be able to purchase pieces from Burberry’s runway right away and from anywhere in the world. A major shift in thinking, but maybe it really is the future. While other designers have strongly voiced their opinions against the concept, others have gotten on board with it. Just a few days ago, Tom Ford took a similar approach in New York. Preen will do the same in London. At this point, it’s too soon to say if this is the new normal or not. However, one thing is for sure. Fashion is becoming more about what it was always intended to be about: people.

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