Dries Van Noten is proposing major changes to the fashion calendar amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the clothing industry hard, with factories and stores being forced to temporarily close across the world.
However, Van Noten is adamant that now might be the time to try and rethink the traditional seasonal fashion calendar.
“When you try to explain how fashion works to people not in fashion, it’s impossible. Nobody can understand it,” the 62-year-old told The New York Times, before noting that he anticipates disruptions to the upcoming drops anyway. “We know fall will deliver late… And we are going to put that on sale in November? Wouldn’t it better to wait until the new year? And then to have the courage to keep the rhythm we establish now?”
Accordingly, Van Noten is spearheading a campaign to better streamline the business, with a group of other designers and global retail bosses also showing their support for the idea.
Members of the group published an open letter on Tuesday in which they insisted the current environment provides the opportunity for a “fundamental and welcome change that will simplify our businesses, making them more environmentally and socially sustainable and ultimately align them more closely with customers’ needs.”
Primarily, they want to put the fall/winter season back to winter (August/January) and spring/summer season back in summer (February/July), create a more balanced flow of deliveries, and discount only at the end of the season.
“Working together, we hope these steps will allow our industry to become more responsible for our impact on our customers, on the planet and on the fashion community, and bring back the magic and creativity that has made fashion such an important part of our world,” they added.
Current signatories include Joseph Altuzarra, Craig Green, Erdem Moralioglu, Marine Serre, Mary Katrantzou, Pierre Hardy, Tory Burch, as well as Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler.
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