Are Fashion weeks still important?
Starting June 17th during the Milan Fashion week we have seen the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2017 Men collections. The lineup included brands like DSQUARED2, Canali, Jil Sander, Marni, Versace, Philipp Plein, Richmond, Salvatore Ferragamo, Vivienne Westwood, Missoni, Prada, Moncler, and Emporio Armani. Fashion week has become a traditional platform for brands to present their evolution season after season. What comes in, what becomes obsolete is the normal turnover in fashion, which is equally important in menswear, as it is in women’s wear. Men have proved on various occasions that they are willing to invest in image and that they do care about fashion.
An important new detail is the fact that fashion week becomes more and more accessible to the wide community and it is not anymore restricted to a narrow circle of customers and media. This change in strategy became part of the bigger step towards binding with the crowd of customers and enriching the target. Maybe brands finally realized the importance of selling their products not only to retailers but to the final consumers as well.
Fashion week has become a tool for famous labels to demonstrate influence and superiority. Usually there are the big four fashion weeks we all know – New York, London, Milan and Paris. Each of them dictates different styles. New York for example is the scene for sportswear, Paris as usual gravitates towards haute couture, London is the arena of edgy and avant-garde designs and last but not least is Milan, where over the top but still stylish styles take over the podium. Each of these weeks is important economic factor for the city where it is held, not only for the brands which host the shows. Every fashion week is related to about 100 events, ranging from dinners, cocktail parties, charity gatherings, and so on. Those posh occasions drive profit to the cities. In cases like Milan there is usually up to 90 percent hotel occupancy and revenues generated can sky rocket to numbers as much as 15 million euro. For New York numbers are shocking. About 1.4 billion dollars of tax revenues are generated during the previous fashion week. The event employed about 185 000 people. Fashion week in Paris drives in the humongous 400 million euro, and take a note that this number does not include sales in stores. For London there are 26 billion pounds of contribution to the UK GDP.
So is fashion still a relevant business to invest in? Absolutely! Many say that with the rise of fast fashion, the high end is starting to see a decline. But this is definitely not the case. Vertically integrated apparel retailers are just followers and they can easily become fads if they are not continuously gaining inspiration and new ideas from the catwalks season after season. So designers working for big luxury brands are not only trend setters in fashion, they create an image and a strategy which drives the clientele in the entertainment which sells everything from mobile apps, watches, ready-to-wear, cosmetics, to personalized services. Brands present on the catwalks of fashion weeks create an imaginary world, which by the use of wise entrepreneurship can promote a lifestyle proposition which makes it worth the investment.