Final Collection Notes Chapter 2: Fashion in Time

“To be successful, fashion collections should neither feel tired nor be overly avant-garde. They must be needed and exciting.”

Seasons & the effect of pre-collection

  • Cruise and precollections often achieve high volumes of sales, in part because an absence of media reporting allows focus on commercial pieces.
  • This outfit is typical of the commerciality of the Viktor & Rolf cruise 2011 collection, unlike some of their more extreme design

Design to Retail Cycle:

  • Design, sales, production, and delivery to clients.

1)Design

  • Potential for market acceptability: designers will present their initial ideas to the sales and communication teams so as to discuss the relevance of the chosen direction and to prepare styling and communication
  • Feasibility: Later on, when muslins have been completed and fabrics selected, the production team checks the feasibility and the cost of the designs
  • Business analytics is vital: Throughout the design stage, therefore, the creative team relies on the rest of the business to guide some of their choices.

2) Sales –> to buyers (retailers)

  • Runway Shows: he major Fashion Weeks held in Milan, London, Paris, and New York are scheduled twice a year—spring and fall—for women’s ready-to-wear; and, for haute couture, they take place in Paris in winter and summer.
  • Runway shows focus on attracting media and public attention; they play a vital role in the communication of fashion houses through the spectacle and images they offer. After a show, buyers can view the garments again in salons, where they then book their orders.
  • Salon Presentations: Salon presentations are usually organized as trade fairs, gathering together a number of labels. One of the best known is the Salon International du Prêt à Porter, which takes place in Paris every January and September.
  • Internet Retail: Trunk shows (Moda Operandi) & Crowdfunding
    • Fashion Crowdfunding, topic to investigate further: here 

3)Production

  • CMT: Garment production is almost always outsourced to a large and varied range of production or CMT (Cut, Make, and Trim) facilities available worldwide
  • The production manager must confirm the availability of fabric and source and order the trims in the correct colors, all to be delivered to the factory. For each style, patterns must be graded in the usual four sizes, S, M, L, XL
  • Quality standards: Before the order (or docket) is finally placed for production, the factory must produce a TOP (top of production) for each style.

4)Delivery to retail

  • Delivery to retail is organized according to the periodicity of the collection and is usually staggered over a period of up to three months.
  • A story = group of coordinated separates that can be merchandised in a coherent way on the store floor. This delivery schedule obviously requires careful planning at production level to ensure a smooth flow in and out of production to shipping.

Trends & Influence in Fashion:

“Fashion is a social agreement, the result of a consensus of a large group of people” (Stella Blum).”

  • A garment’s 3 functionalities: 1) technical makeup 2) functionality 3) aesthetics

Color Forecasting

  • Dying of some garments may be more difficult, so forecasting which colors and preparing in advance is crucial ( 2 years before delivery of garment to retail)
  • Correct forecasting will also ensure these colored pieces to sell (part of trend forecasting services will offer)

Trend Forecasting

  • forecasting consumer preferences and behaviors in 12 – 30 month’s time
  • MUDPIE: is the only online trend forecasting service with an on-site design studio (MPDclick now called WGSN)
    • Also offers consultancy services for leading brands
    • Their blog, the Trend Journal, documents the team’s initial findings, forming the basis of forecasted trends two years ahead of season
    • Users of Mpdclick also benefit from seasonal coverage from the worlds of designer ready-to-wear, haute couture, trade fair, and retail.
    • Mudpie seems to have either been acquired or defunct? (WGSN is where their domain name redirects to, has 650+ employees)
  • To correctly analyze the information they have gathered, trend forecasters must assess its impact, taking into account how often it is likely to be viewed. 
  • Analyze recurring themes by deconstructing designs and details across designs
  • Once a number of emerging styles have been identified, trend forecasters must be able to produce a short list of those that will be influential
  • Personal Brief: defines what the designer must achieve by specifying the purpose of his or her designs as well as their constraints

My Key takeaways:

Fashion is influenced by many things including seasons and trends. Trend analysis is actually a very crucial industry piece. Like the analysis given by business consultants and industry analysts in the business world, trend advice can really impact the sales and ultimate profitability of fashion companies.

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