See now, buy now? Why Fashion is a mess according to Karl Lagerfeld.
As fashion capitals were busy hosting fashion shows to appeal masses and fashion lovers, BoF got hold on Karl Lagerfeld at the backstage of Fendi to ask his thoughts on how direct-to-consumers will help to engage more customers with the brand.
When asked about the lack of uniformity amongst the designers following traditional and consumer based schedules, Lagerfeld says “It’s a mess.”
The consumer-facing fashion show were warmly welcomed by the US and UK, whereas, European based fashion cities such as Paris and Milan were hesitant to accept it. France’s governing body believes in to wait for the runway to enter the retail market for betterment of the business instead of racing with the social media or the internet.
In contradiction with the ‘see now, buy now’ fashion shows, Lagerfeld says, “I can show my collections and sell them and give people the time to make their choice, to order them and to make them beautifully produced and editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything” (as said to BoF).
Brands with retail stores have to make the collection six months prior to the season and showcase them to the press. But Karl claims that for Chanel, he is already making six collections per year, which directly goes to the retail stores, without any consent of press or external buyers. But for his own label, he makes a capsule collection that goes in store the same day it’s launched.
Karl Lagerfeld, not against the concept of fast fashion but blindly following it, says, “The world is changing — not always for the best — but we have to follow the changes and the Internet, but there is a way of doing it, you know? It’s not just about talking bullshit.”
And he is now looking forward to create a collection of 15 items exclusively for the Internet purchase.
It seems that the designer is not very fond of using runway shows for commercial purpose, he says, “I like the idea that when you see something and you don’t know what it is, you think it’s leather, but no it’s not leather. The way it’s done, it’s a technical miracle.”
Fashion industry has been continuously evolving, but will it loose it’s value in order to keep up with masses?
Text: Pinanki Shah
Photographs: Business of Fashion