'Clothing is now consumed, nobody seems to live it anymore. That is a situation we have to change or else fashion will disappear from Japan.' Yohji Yamamoto
Well, if I knew how to have have a soundbite here, Bob Dylan would be a-saying "come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen, keep your eyes wide open the chance won't come again."
Change every day, technology and social media and here we are. I'm still cross and snippy at the House of Versace oh so many years ago for forbidding buyers, me, to take photos, no sketches, selling any boutique that could pony up the sky high minimum. Obviously they had not considered Pierre Berge's business model: do nothing to harm the brand. This year streaming video was de rigeur and Burberry sent it to you in 3D. On the 'net, on your iPhone and bloggers are sharing thoughts and photos from fashion shows and shoots on the spot, not chained to print media campaigns that will be on the stands in a few months.
Robert Duffy's tweeting began before Marc's Fall '10 show and we fell in love with him: especially as he ended the celebrity front row (except for BFF's). And in the way that the more things change, the more they stay the same, Target seized the moment (they just do that so well) and has garnered celebrities in front of the camera as well as filming for their pop-up designer moments that are celebrations, collectibles that show up on eBay at a hefty premium, complete with VIP rooms and live music. Target pops up, sells out and moves on. Not the only company doing this but Target is working it for the mostly under 100.00 or so set the way major designers have. It's good and it's fun.
Pokeware is a tool imbedded in videos that allows shoppers to click and shop. Gilt is an online shopping site that partnered up with designers to gave flash sales of current season fashions at discounts and ponied up with Vogue on a test run of limited special things. Proenza Schouler took orders for a a special bag available from the runway collection for a few days this season. eBay is running its own flash sales with designers. I think the indie shops could be justified in feeling slighted here. This is looking like an Amazon swoop through the industry: less monolithic shopping center anchors, more outlet stores and the question of whether the customer will buy fashion on line is solved. Oh yes. Net-a-porter.com and Yoox.com sales were up 50% last year while the recovery was not firm and old school shops were wilting.
There's so much good news: pent-up need to shop ("I may die if I can't shop soon ...") and pretty, pretty clothes for summer. Store sales are pleasing to everyone and it's all getting sorted out. Pretty as opposed to somber grey, black and haven't had anything new since the recession.
Me? I think there's plenty of room for Target collaborations and Yohji too. Vogue and Bloggers. Luxury and fast fashion.