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Mango fast fashion gets faster; digital is key

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Spanish fashion giant Mango had big news Thursday announcing its move from a fast fashion business model to an even faster fashion one and an increased focus on the digital channel. The company said today that it’s going to offer new product every two weeks as part of a business transformation that it’s calling a “major revolution”.

Along with the new, 26-drops-a-year model, it will no longer print 22m catalogues each year and will make online (currently accounting for just 10% of turnover) its biggest focus.

So, that means from February – when the SS16 offer starts to drop in-store – we’ll see faster, fortnightly response to the strongest trends. They’ll be backed up by a new ad campaign every month “featuring the latest trend and represented by the face that best defines it”. Digital will be key for these campaigns and the company will also publish new trends content every fortnight via its digital channels.

All this change makes the decision to axe its print catalogues pretty logical as they would struggle to keep up with the pace of new trend development.

It also raises a few questions: How will its rivals respond? I can’t wait to find out the answer to that one. Also, where does it leave the traditional two-seasons-a-year trends model? That’s an even tougher one but it’s a question that the entire industry will have to answer some time soon.

The question was first asked back in the late 90s when the ‘fast fashion’ became the business model to follow. Back then it was all about retailers being in the driving seat and getting manufacturers to race to make faster deliveries of the trends those retailers had identified after long and careful research. But the spring/summer and autumn/winter concept still just-about-worked.

But in a world where online, social media, and peer ‘likes’ are what count, fast fashion has morphed into a scenario where the consumer is more in control and the retailers are racing to keep up. With this move Mango is making sure it’s ahead of the game but also saying two mega seasons a year just don’t work. Welcome to the world of the micro season…

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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Why are autumn campaigns already releasing? The fashion industry needs a rethink

When did ad campaigns for autumn/winter start launching in May? I returned to my desk today after a couple of weeks travelling to see notifications about ads released from Marc Jacobs, BOSS by Hugo Boss, Roberto Cavalli, Isabel Marant and Mango, to name a few. That’s far earlier than normal. Late June used to be the first release, and it would tend to be from Burberry.

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Ciara for Roberto Cavalli A/W 15/16

In some instances, those already out seemed to have been leaked, but in others, these have been legitimate announcements. Perhaps it’s indicative of a certain number of designers trying to beat the rest of the industry to the punch – after all, there comes a time each season when yet another campaign story across blogs and social media is incredibly tiresome. (Mind you, do read this great post from Lou Stoppard of SHOWstudio last season).

But as a larger issue, this is emblematic of a fundamental problem with the fashion industry, its complicated seasons and their even more confusing timelines.

It is now just June (and may I add the sun has finally started to shine). Spring collections are in-store but heavily on sale, and pre-fall is waiting in the wings, if not already on the shop floor.

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Cher for Marc Jacobs A/W 15/16

It goes without saying the majority of consumers are not yet in the mindset for buying winter-wear. Cher in a full-length black embellished skirt and gloves for Marc Jacobs (as above) might turn heads, but unlikely directly impact a sale. Even if it wanted to, it couldn’t yet – that product is not available.

And that’s the point. If fashion weeks are so far off store deliveries as we know (resort collections are coming out thick and fast at present just to confuse matters even more), shouldn’t we be trying to utilise the hype our marketing can also generate to actually lead to conversions. The power of social media would be far better leveraged if the items on show could be clicked and bought – that’s not possible from the catwalk in the majority of cases, but it is from ads. For once we might actually be able to make sense of the lines and when they’re released if so.

At the very least, let’s take these high profile campaigns, their celebrity signings and big production values, and team them up directly with current stock. That would be significantly better than just wistfully hoping a release might drive traffic by association.

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Edie Campbell for BOSS by Hugo Boss A/W 15/16

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs