Speaking to Dazed, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez explain why
Over the last week, a series of announcements have been reverberating through the fashion industry. Major brands, including Burberry, Tom Ford, Vetements and Paul Smith have all voiced profound dissatisfaction with its current mode of operating, saying that they will be taking alternative routes. Burberry and Tom Ford for example, said that they will be adopting a “see now/buy now” approach – and now Proenza Schouler are following suit.
The New York-based brand, known for drawing its inspiration from contemporary art and youth culture, has just announced that it will be introducing a new initiative called the ‘Proenza Schouler Early Edition’. Eight looks from its AW16 show (which will be staged at New York Fashion Week next week) will be available to purchase the very next day. Speaking exclusively to Dazed, the duo behind the brand – Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez – explain why.
“This is part of a bigger conversation about changing the calendar, which we’ve been collectively talking about for what seems like years now,” says Hernandez. “We’ve just felt over the years that there’s been this disconnect between when you first see clothes in the runway and their availability in stores. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a problem with how the system currently works.”
“We’ve just felt over the years that there’s been this disconnect between when you first see clothes in the runway and their availability in stores. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a problem with how the system currently works” – Lazaro Hernandez
“We’re finding that the customers are more savvy, and they’re much more in tune with the shows, which used to be insider events for editors and buyers,” continues McCollough. “But now the public is watching them in real time. So for them, by the time the collections ship six months later, it’s old news. We’re trying to shorten that time gap from when they first see clothes to when they’ll be available in stores.”
It’s another example of how the internet and social media is transforming the landscape of the industry. The way we consume images from runway shows has sped up rapidly – the way we consume items of clothing from them is still, by and large, subject to a six-month delay. Thanks to Proenza Schouler and the other brands adopting a new model, this looks set to change.
But what about the ramifications of these changes? Will the rest of the industry follow in Proenza, Burberry and Tom Ford’s footsteps? How would that affect emerging designers? We’ll just have to wait and see.