“Our proposals are not ridiculous nor outrageous – pointed out Shira Sue Carmi, Chief Executive Officer of Altuzzarra and signatory of the appeal petition –: speaking plainly, they are simply based on common sense”. “It is impossible to illustrate and explain how fashion actually works to people who are not into it – remarked, as summarized by the New York Times, fashion designer Dries Van Noten –.
Nobody can understand that”. In the meantime, while dealing with the pandemic, caused by Coronavirus outbreak, brands and fashion designers stand up in revolt. Against what? They protest against the rhythms and dynamics of the fashion system, crushed by rush at this point. So far, over 40 retail brands and store signs have signed a letter to make a plea. They asked the system to slow down. They have also urged it to reduce manufacturing, therefore going back to traditional seasons and preventing consequent wastefulness.
It is all due to a chat
Such mobilisation started, in an informal way, at the end of April, during a number of conference calls engaging professionals and insiders. The group members, as they themselves pointed out, have realized that the pandemic has been setting some challenges. Yet, on the other hand, “it also provides an opportunity to carry out a paramount and desirable model change”.
After several years of hypertrophic luxury, we aim at achieving “business simplification, alongside social and environmental sustainability. In so doing, we will manage to get closer again to buyers’ needs and demand”.
First step: Fall/Winter season spreads out from August until January, while Spring/Summer season spreads out from February until July. As regards orders and deliveries, they come up throughout the season not only to foster demand for innovation, of course, but also, at the same time, to give products time for prompting interest and appeal in the public. Discount season strictly goes on in January and in July in order to enable full price sales.
“Customers cannot buy products at full price and face, six weeks later, a 50% discount on sales – remarked Van Noten, as subsequently reported by MFF –: it is not respectful”. Rationalising the system would also entail a considerable number of sacrifices. That is why brands and designers in revolt have been urging the fashion system to make a valuable effort to reduce “non-necessary products, along with wastefulness and journeys”, therefore focusing on “digital showrooms” and adjusting presentations accordingly”.
Brands and fashion designers stand up in revolt
As we said earlier, Van Noten and Sue Carmi, mentioned before, are amongst the letter signatories. Besides them (for the records, collecting signatures is still underway), other names can be found in the list: among others, Vittorio Radice, from Rinascente, and Tory Burch, together with some top-notch representatives of Mytheresa, Bergdorf Goodman and Selfridges. The group actually criticizes fast fashion, in the same way as Giorgio Armani, while calling for a comeback to traditional rhythms, starting from next winter season.
Back to the core of creativity
We need to make a common effort then. In so doing, fashion will be able to discover and enhance its own sustainability and, at the same time, play a better-defined role in our society. Furthermore, such attitude will be useful to bring back and spotlight again “magic and creativity”, which are the values that have made “fashion an important asset in our world”.