Fashion Week calendars overhauled as Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Saint Laurent, Vionnet change
First it was the men's fashion weeks, now it is the turn of the women's calendars to be turned upside down. As the fashion industry is undergoing profound changes, an increasing number of labels are reassessing their strategy, especially in terms of how they showcase their new collections, a crucial moment in every season. Formats, venues and rhythm are changing, all of them revised in order to respond more closely to each label's needs and objectives.
As a result, changes are on the horizon for the forthcoming womenswear fashion weeks. Beginning with Saint Laurent, which will kick off the Paris calendar on 28th February with a mixed show combining its women's collection for Autumn/Winter 2017-18 with the men's, which skipped the January session. Saint Laurent is the third Kering group label, with Bottega Veneta and Gucci, to opt for a mixed show format this year.
The Paris calendar will be enhanced by the new presence of two US labels, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler. The former, led by the sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, has decided to quit the New York runways for the next two seasons. Rodarte's Autumn/Winter 2017-18 collection will be presented at an invitation-only event in the French capital, while the summer 2018 collection will show during the Paris Haute Couture week.
The objective is twofold: to show earlier in the season, in order to anticipate deliveries, and to benefit from a more receptive audience in Paris, as Laura Mulleavy hopes. "The timing of the sales campaign is crucial. Our company's number one objective is always to create fine clothes targeted to retail sales, as our customers want. We are keen to bring our products on the market with an early delivery schedule," she said to the US media.
Rodarte has also announced the creation of a third collection, consisting of lifestyle items, and a collaboration with Coach that will feature a line of about fifteen items, ranging from apparel to accessories.
Proenza Schouler's strategy is similar, as the label stated in a press release on Monday that "it is pleased to announce the decision to withdraw from the traditional ready-to-wear calendar in order to pursue a business model that is more consistent with contemporary retail requirements."
The label said that "actually, a significant share of [our] sales comes from the pre-collection, while only a small part of them comes from the runway collection, though it is the latter which truly embodies the spirit of Proenza Schouler."
Like Rodarte did, the US label, which is renowned for its avant-garde style, has decided to leave New York and show its Spring/Summer 2018 collection at the Paris Haute Couture week next July. Proenza Schouler will therefore present both its main and cruise collections in one single event twice a year, in January and July. The label also underlined the fact that it will deliver the collection in advance, ensuring a longer life-span to its products.
"As the label is getting ready for the worldwide launch of the Proenza Schouler fragrance in collaboration with L'Oréal Luxe in 2018, a greater international presence is a strategic requirement. Moving to Paris will help the company reach its short and long-term objectives, and will allow our organisation to work in a manner better suited to the current requirements of the [fashion] industry," stated the label, which will show in New York for the last time on 13th February with its Autumn/Winter 2017-18 collection.
Long-standing French label Vionnet, led by Goga Ashkenazi, will instead relocate from Paris, leaving the French capital to show for the first time in Milan on Friday 24th February.
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