Burberry and Tom Ford Say Goodbye to Traditional Fashion Calendar, Hello to Direct-to-Consumer Shows

Karlie Kloss at Tom Ford
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

One trend has already begun to percolate from the fall 2016 collections: less is more. Friday morning, Burberry and Tom Ford each boldly announced that they’re officially changing the structure by which they’ll showcase their fall and spring runway offerings moving forward. Rather than debut a collection four months ahead of its availability, the megawatt brands are switching to a method that, come September, will allow customers to purchase the items we see on top models moments after they appear on the runway, WWD reports.

In addition, both the men’s and women’s collection from each design house will be presented at the same show, on the same date. To put it in layman’s terms, the fall 2016 scarves, shoes, pants, tops, and always beloved items that Burberry and Tom Ford show in September will be up for grabs both online and in stores moments after Karlie Kloss or Cara Delevingne take their final runway strut.

So why, exactly, are the designers making this shift? “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves,” Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer, told WWD.

“Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streams, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in the creative process that will continue to evolve,” he added.

Bailey’s decision rings similar to that of Ford’s, who is known for hosting small, intimate presentations that reflect runway shows of decades past. “In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to consumers is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense,” Ford reportedly said. “We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era.”

The former Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent designer has of course hinted at a sign of changing times before, skipping a runway show altogether and instead casting a crew of top models—and Lady Gaga, to boot—for a ‘70s-tuned music video that showcased his spring 2016 selection. “We spend an enormous amount of money and energy to stage an event that creates excitement too far in advance of when the collection is available to the consumer,” Ford said of the speedy system in place. “Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will remedy this, and allow the excitement that is created by a show or event to drive sales and satisfy our customers’ increasing desire to have their clothes as they are ready to wear them.”

Prepare to shop, stat.

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