Men’s fashion week is taking the world by storm. Although men’s designers have always had a prominent place in the industry, fashion has stereotypically been a women-dominated industry. In recent years, women have began to appear in men’s fashion shows, however this season it has become commonplace. At the London Collections: Men a myriad of women models walked the runway, portraying the integration of men’s and women’s, once segregated, identities in fashion.
It is not the first time designers have cast women, but it was never a prevailing theme. Among many other shows, women walked at Public School, Coach, Craig Green, and Christopher Raeburn. There are many reasons that designers are now showcasing women and women’s clothing during men’s fashion week. For example, the female models and apparel foreshadow the upcoming women’s collection, which could perhaps incentivize buyers to attend more men’s shows. If true, the increase in buyer attention will inevitably bring about more press attention. Many designers have merged their men’s and women’s shows completely. A strategy that is manifesting among both the emerging and more seasoned designers.
Overall, women’s prominent presence at LCM exhibits that we are living in an increasingly genderless, androgynous world. The LBGT community has fostered a buzzy social media revolution, which has inspired fashion brands to join the movement with transgendered brand ambassadors, models, uni-sex campaigns and collections.
From left to right: Rachna Shah, KCD Worldwide; Sarah Rutson, Net-a-Porter; Katherine Zarrella, Fashion Unfiltered; Andrew Rosen, Theory; Gary Wassner, Hilldun Corporation
By: Kara Ladd
The framework was simple–50 speakers, over 500 attendees and 12 questions–but the content was relatively weighty. Simon Collin’s first Fashion Culture Design unconference proved to be a success as a crowd of industry trailblazers, global leaders, students, and teachers convened at Parsons School of Design to discuss key issues about the fashion industry at large. Subjects from sustainability and fashion week to social media and millennials were all discussed in an “unfiltered” environment. Unfiltered that is except when “swear words” such as disruption, influencers, or game changer were used on stage, a donation to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) was made.
One of the most intriguing conversations revolved around the structure and strategy behind fashion week–a hot topic of discussion lately with the release of CFDA and The Boston Consulting Group’s study. The fashion calendar is comprised of a heavy, labor-intensive schedule that exhausts designers to produce collections at a rapid rate of 5 times per year (Spring RTW, Fall RTW, Pre-Fall, Resort, and Couture). Today, a lot of designers are breaking the cycle and designing “buy now, wear now” collections. A lot of brands are experimenting with these new opportunities(to design on their own schedule) to figure the best way to sell to their target consumers. Furthermore, many designers are straying away from the extravagant runway show, opting for a more personal and intimate presentation. The industry is at a pivotal stage of transition and the need for organization, communication, and structure is paramount.
Innovation is at the core of resolving these issues and fashion tech apps such as Last Look can aid in the motion towards a more efficient fashion calendar. Brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, Tom Ford and Burberry have implemented a “see now, buy now” sales strategies where products are instantly available for sale once they hit the runway. Through Last Look images can be edited internally and approved quickly so they are readily available for the consumer to purchase on their website, social media or elsewhere. The industry is evolving, download Last Look and don’t get left behind.