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business Campaigns data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail

Stella McCartney and LVMH, Amazon Prime Day, brands missing sustainability targets

A round-up of everything you might have missed inrelevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week. 

TOP STORIES
  • Why LVMH struck a deal with Stella McCartney (Bof)
  • Amazon Prime Day brings sales, and risks, for retailers (NY Times)
  • Fashion brands have only met 21% of their circularity targets for 2020 (Fashion United)
  • Inside the Victoria’s Secret pipeline to Jeffrey Epstein (NY Post)
  • Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian: “data and creativity are not mutually exclusive” (Vogue Business)
  • The battle of the sneaker bots (BoF)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Facebook counts $5bn cost of Cambridge Analytica scandal (The Drum)
  • What brands are getting wrong about AR (Mobile Marketer)
  • The band aid of the future knows when you’re healed (Fast Company)
  • Forget synthetic meat, lab grown dairy is here (Bloomberg)
  • In China, facial-recognition technology is being deployed to take out the trash (Quartz)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Should we stop washing our clothes? (BBC)
  • Can rented clothes save the fashion industry (and the planet)? (Highsnobiety)
  • The big fashion fight: can we remove all the toxic, invisible plastic from our clothes? (The Guardian)
  • Norway challenges H&M on its sustainability claims (Tree Hugger)
  • Triumph invites its customers to recycle together (WWD)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Under Armour utilizes 3D avatar technology to develop digital sizing standards (Fashion United)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How TikTok is testing in-app e-commerce  (Digiday)
  • Topshop launches digital dating programme (Drapers)
  • Michael Kors launches scavenger hunt experience for NYC consumers (Fashion United)
  • Celine builds a mini-site via WeChat mini program  (Jing Daily)
PRODUCT
  • Lady Gaga’s new beauty line for Amazon (Bof)
  • Glossier to drop limited-edition fashion line (Fashion United)
  • G-Star Raw announces sustainable ‘dyed by nature’ collection (WWD)
  • Camper and Ecoalf launch sustainable footwear collaboration (Fashion United)
BUSINESS
  • UK manufacturers call for action on migration (Drapers)
  • Luxury retailer Barneys New York may file for bankruptcy, report says (Fashion United)
  • Kanye’s second coming: inside the billion-dollar Yeezy empire (Forbes)
  • Primark founder Arthur Ryan dead at 83 (Fashion United)
CULTURE
  • The year of ‘woke-washing’: How tone-deaf activism risks eroding brands (Marketing Dive)
  • Chanel hires first head of diversity & inclusion (Hypebeast)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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business digital snippets product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Rent the Runway’s competitive lawsuit, Cavalli exits US, the data gap for fashion sustainability

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Rent the Runway’s alleged “scheme of monopolistic, anti-competitive conduct” [The Fashion Law]
  • The struggling fashion house Roberto Cavalli closes its U.S. stores [NYT]
  • Exactly how bad is fashion for the planet? We still don’t know for sure [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Sustainability becoming an economic benefit for luxury brands [Fashion Network]
  • Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs [Vox]
  • Corona builds plastic trash wall on Ipanema Beach to warn from plastic pollution [PR Week]
  • Asda’s George to only use recycled polyester by 2025 [Drapers]
  • The North Face aims to reduce man-made waste in collaboration with RÆBURN [Complex]
  • The next wave of sustainable fashion is all about regenerative farming [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • At Galeries Lafayette’s new Champs Élysées flagship, the Paris concept store is reborn [Vogue]
  • Tommy Hilfiger closes NYC flagship and more [Fashion United]
  • Dior expands beach collection with dedicated dioriviera spaces [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • Gentle Monster and Huawei team up to launch fashion-focused smart glasses [The Current Daily]
  • Lululemon soars on menswear, online push; inches into Nike turf [Reuters]
  • Reformation is launching its permanent extended sizing clothing collection [Fashionista]
  • Bobbi Brown and Walmart want to bring wellness to the masses [BoF]
  • Luxury marijuana brand Beboe is launching a skincare label [Paper Mag]
  • Amazon now wants to get into your make-up bag with their own skincare brand [Vogue]
BUSINESS
  • Farfetch invests in The Modist [Drapers]
  • Michael Kors steps back from Capri board [WWD]
  • PVH in talks to sell Calvin Klein women’s jeans business [Retail Dive]
  • Carine Roitfeld announced as style advisor of Karl Lagerfeld’s namesake brand [Harpers Bazaar]
  • Neiman Marcus drums up support for refinancing [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Jo Malone London is launching a new fragrance exhibition [Harpers Bazaar]
  • Dove debuts #ShowUs image library to diversify depictions of women in media [Marketing Dive]
  • YSL Beauty hits the desert for debut Coachella pop-up [WWD]
  • Fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus is opening a café in Paris and it’s an Instagrammer’s dream [The Independent]
CULTURE
  • The future of luxury is freedom [BoF]
  • Shopping while Chinese: Real stories of discrimination [Jing Daily]
  • Ikea’s next big thing is self-care [Fast Company]
  • Generation Z: Who they are, in their own words [NYT]
  • Why does the burden of creating inclusivity in fashion fall largely on marginalized groups? [Fashionista]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

Categories
business Campaigns digital snippets product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Angela Ahrendts exits Apple, Ralph Lauren’s streetwear obsession, the ethical case for fur

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • What fashion can learn from Angela Ahrendts’ Apple exit [BoF]
  • Ralph Lauren is loving streetwear right now [Quartz]
  • The ethical case for leather, fur, and silk [Quartz]
  • Why Fashion Week doesn’t make sense anymore [Vox]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Why high-tech beauty is a high-stakes game [BoF]
  • ‘Fortnite’ held a marshmello concert—and it’s the future of the metaverse [Wired]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Volcom introduces traceable organic cotton initiative [Fashion United]
  • Study measures economics of closing the fashion loop in UK [Apparel Insider]
  • Tokyo succeeds in plan to make 2020 Olympic medals from recycled gadgets [The Verge]
  • Made for next to nothing. Worn by you? [New York Times]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • A shopping mall near Edinburgh sold for less than a London flat [Sourcing Journal]
  • Matchesfashion.com bringing temporary townhouse to Frieze L.A. [WWD]
  • The pitfalls of investing in experiential retail [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Victoria’s Secret Pink champions women with new ‘Grl Pwr’ initiative [Fashion Network]
  • The Instagram account black market, explained [Vox]
  • Pentland-owned Ellesse launches campaign with AI model [Fashion Network]
PRODUCT
  • Tarte Cosmetics unveils brand new foundation range in 50 shades [Fashion Network]
BUSINESS
  • Michael Kors drags down Capri [Retail Dive]
  • LVMH creates secret company named Project Loud. A corporate structure to welcome Rihanna? [Fashion Network]
  • Jeweller Pandora’s plan to regain lustre lifts shares [Reuters]
CULTURE
  • Dapper Dan is holding Gucci accountable for controversial ‘blackface sweater’ [Fashionista]
  • What brands are doing to be more inclusive for people with disabilities [Marketing Week]
  • New York Fashion Week launches with a statement on diversity [Glossy]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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data Editor's pick product social media technology

Michael Kors launches smartwatch-focused chatbot

Michael Kors introduces chatbot to smartwatches, tech, fashion tech, smart technology, chatbots
Michael Kors introduces chatbot to support smartwatches

Michel Kors has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant, designed to support its Access Sofie smartwatch for women.

The bot aims to teach users about the smartwatch’s features and functionalities, guiding new owners on the set-up process of their device when they first purchase, enabling them to get the most out of it thereafter.

It also provides style inspiration curated from user-generated content and shopping information about items to buy within the experience, including interchangeable bands for the watches. That is done within the Facebook Messenger feed, or via a voice-activated option available through the Google Assistant.

Should the user need help, the bot is also equipped with FAQ support and the ability to hand users off to a human customer service representative when the moment arises.

The chatbot is also available for non-watch owners, enabling them to explore the different Sofie smartwatch styles, then inviting them to either make a purchase on the spot or head to their nearest Michael Kors location.

This sort of move for chatbots as a key part of customer service is becoming increasingly commonplace among brands and retailers. Part of the reason, beyond the marketing drive it has facilitated initially, is the scale it enables. As the technology itself improves, this is only going to get smarter.

Across verticals, there are now more than 100,000 bots on the Facebook Messenger platform, all of which have the potential to reach the platform’s 1.3 billion users.

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social media

How brands used Instagram Stories during New York Fashion Week

Ralph Lauren on Instagram Stories
Ralph Lauren on Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the current darling of the fashion world, or so it seemed in New York this past week as each and every designer brand took to the platform alongside their runway shows.

Fashion week has long been a central part of the social media strategy for these businesses – a ripe opportunity to capture what’s being putting out into the world with their new collections and build noise around their brands accordingly.

Providing fans with a “first look” or a step “behind-the-scenes” is somewhat par for the course these days, however. Much like live-streaming is no longer newsworthy (though Instagram Live was also in heavy use this season), neither really is a glimpse backstage or front row – more par for the course.

What Instagram Stories has provided however is an opportunity to do all of that at a rapid pace, without having to worry about the quality of the content. As with Snapchat before it, it’s the fact this content disappears 24-hours later that’s so appealing to these brands. Blink-and-you-miss-it as standard provides the exclusivity they appreciate, while not compromising on the beautiful feeds they are otherwise curating on their main accounts.

What’s more, this is a space that can generate big numbers – of the 700 million users on Instagram worldwide, 250 million are viewing the Stories feature everyday. What’s interesting to look at then, is how exactly brands are taking things a step further and playing with content in this environment. Head over to Forbes to read the highlights straight from Instagram Stories this season, including from Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.

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business digital snippets e-commerce product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Wang’s text-to-buy line, Stitch Fix to IPO, activism from outdoor brands

The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message
The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the past week.


TOP STORIES
  • The second Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launches via text-to-buy event [Racked]
  • Stitch Fix has filed confidentially for an IPO [Recode]
  • A call to activism for outdoor apparel makers [NY Times]
  • How Reebok, Adidas and Y-3 will dress future space explorers [Fast Company]

BUSINESS
  • Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal [BBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com could enter stock market [Fashion United]
  • Bangladesh to digitally map all garment factories [JustStyle]
  • Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills [Guardian]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Vogue takes ‘hub and spoke’ approach to Snapchat editions in Europe [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Why Helmut Lang hired an editor-in-residence in place of a creative director [Glossy]
  • Amazon and Nicopanda launch LFW ‘see now, buy now’ range [Retail Gazette]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • China’s store of the future has no checkout, no cash and no staff [BoF]
  • Saint Laurent to launch online sales in China [WSJ]
  • You will soon be able to search eBay using a photo or social media web link [CNBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com’s Tom Chapman: Amazon’s missing the ‘magic’ of high-end fashion [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Walmart is developing a robot that identifies unhappy shoppers [Business Insider]
  • For the first time ever, you can buy your own 3D-printed garment online [Fashionista]
  • MIT’s living jewellery is made up of small robot assistants [TechCrunch]
  • Intel axed its entire smartwatch and fitness-tracker group to focus on augmented reality, sources say [CNBC]

START-UPS
  • John Lewis unveils retail tech start-ups for JLAB 2017 [The Industry]
  • Spider silk start-up spins into retail by buying an apparel company [Fortune]
Categories
e-commerce social media

Report: Luxury brands in China trail behind in digital proficiency

Burberry in China has fully harnessed all types of available digital channels
Burberry in China has fully harnessed all types of available digital channels

Chinese luxury shoppers are possibly the most tech-savvy and digitally friendly consumers in the world. In order to cater to the shopping habits of this group, many luxury brands in China have recently developed a digital strategy that includes opening stores on local e-commerce giants like Tmall, JD.com and Secoo, and launching e-shops on WeChat. However, a new report by ContactLab and investment company Exane BNP Paribas suggests there has not been major progress made by luxury brands in China in improving their digital proficiency over the past two years. This failure to advance has impeded brands’ ability to reach out and deliver an optimal digital experience for Chinese online shoppers.

Their report, “China Online Boom: Yet to come for Ostrich Luxury Brands”, studies the digital strategies of 32 major Western luxury brands in China to understand how they perform online to benefit their businesses. The study evaluates each brand based on a list of criteria, including localisation (language, website, display), customer digital engagement (outreach, store finder, product presentation), and cross-channel services (online and offline integration), among others.

The findings suggest that the pace of digitalisation of Western luxury brands in China is slow, as only 21 surveyed brands out of 32 have established e-commerce mono-brand websites in the country, versus 31 out of 32 in the United States and 30 out of 32 in the United Kingdom. Because of this, this year, the report downgrades the digital proficiency of these luxury brands operating in China by 9 percentage points from the previous year’s level to just 46%.

Digital proficiency by luxury brands operating in China has fallen to 46% from 55% in the previous year
Digital proficiency by luxury brands operating in China has fallen to 46% from 55% in the previous year

The report names the British luxury powerhouse Burberry, followed by the American fashion brand Michael Kors and fine watch and jewelry maker Cartier, as three outperformers. Burberry in China has fully harnessed all types of available digital channels. It has a Chinese official website that is highly localised for Chinese customers. It also has opened stores on Alibaba’s Tmall, JD.com, Secoo.com and 5lux.com, as well as launched an online boutique on WeChat. The brand has also made substantial efforts in offering high-quality customer service and style advisory through phone and social media channels, as well as integrating online and offline shopping experiences. Burberry’s wide e-commerce footprint is in contrast with its rivals, such as Gucci, Prada, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, which have not yet established any direct e-commerce.

On the e-commerce front, the study also notes that, in general, Western luxury brands that are willing to sell through this channel tend to go to platforms such as JD.com, Secoo.com and 5lux.com, but keep away from launching flagship stores on Tmall and boutiques via WeChat. One explanation could be that many luxury brands still find it hard to work with Alibaba, as their businesses in China have all, to some extent, suffered from the counterfeit phenomenon on that platform.

When it comes to the level of localisation, Coach, Hugo Boss and Ray-Ban are leading, followed by Armani, Burberry, Cartier, Dior and Michael Kors. A high level of localisation requires a brand to pay attention to things such as language and currency, and establish official presence on major Chinese sites such as Baidu, WeChat, Weibo, and Youku. Meanwhile, local celebrities and fashion bloggers also play a significant role in helping to localise the brands. For example, Burberry has been working closely with Chinese singer and actor Kris Wu, while Cartier uses singer Lu Han to promote its products.

The availability of “style advisory” is also used as a benchmark to measure brands’ digital performance. Under this category, French fashion house Dior was named as having the best practice via offering an online chat service (in Chinese) to customers with product suggestions. Louis Vuitton offers a similar service via phone and SMS, while Brunello Cucinelli does it via email. Digitally savvy Michael Kors, Cartier and Burberry all provide the service through social media platforms, namely WeChat and Weibo.

In addition, some brands have recognised the importance of mobile payments in the shopping process of Chinese customers. The study discovers that Alipay and cash on delivery have been widely enabled, while European brands, including Ferragamo, Chanel and Dior, also allow customers to pay via WeChat wallet.

The integration of online and offline channels is still in the beginning stages in China, according to the report. To name two pioneers aside from Burberry, Bulgari allows customers to pick up items ordered on WeChat in store, and Coach offers online and in-store product exchange services.

Overall, luxury brands in China still have a long way to go when it comes to fully taking advantage of opportunities in China’s digital sphere. The authors of the report said: “It is less than ideal that digital luxury is still dominated by local champions,” as those Western brands who currently have progress to make in their e-commerce presence need to keep in mind that the Chinese consumers they’re looking to attract are “young, tech savvy, and eager to embrace change.”

By Yiling Pan @SiennaPan

This article was originally published on Jing Daily, a Fashion & Mash content partner.

Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

What you missed: What Trump means for retail, Alibaba’s $17bn Singles’ Day, Snapchat’s Snapbots

Trump America election retail
Analysts are weighing in on what a Trump presidency means for retail and for fashion

With the world reeling from the news of the US election over this past week, analysts have been trying to wrap their head around exactly what a Trump government will mean for retail. There are several good reads listed below.

Also hitting the headlines has of course been the mindblowing success and growth of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day – this year a $17bn affair, up from ‘just’ $14bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, some lighter bits to absorb: a wealth of new campaigns launched for the holiday season. John Lewis vs Marks & Spencer has got us excited, but also below is everyone from Gap to Macy’s, Debenhams and Kohl’s.

ps. Don’t forget to sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass – we’re currently offering 20% for our readers using code “community”.


TOP STORIES: US ELECTION & ALIBABA’S SINGLES’ DAY
  • What President Trump means for retailers [Retail Dive]
  • Fashion industry reacts to ‘devastating’ Trump victory [BoF]
  • Is fashion’s love affair with Washington over? [NY Times]
  • New Balance customers revolt after company welcomes Trump [Campaign]
  • $17 billion in one day: How Alibaba turned China’s Singles’ Day into a shopping bonanza [Digiday]
  • Virtual reality lets Chinese customers shop Macy’s New York store on the world’s biggest shopping day [Quartz]
  • Why luxury fashion brands are showing up for Singles’ Day [Glossy]
  • Michael Kors dished out discount codes with a casino-themed game on WeChat for Singles’ Day [AdWeek]
  • Five takeaways from Alibaba’s gigantic $17.8 billion shopping festival [AdAge]

BUSINESS
  • Nasty Gal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [Retail Dive]
  • Burberry profit falls 40% as costs rise [WSJ]
  • Kenneth Cole to shut down almost all its brick-and-mortar stores [Bloomberg]
  • Luxury coatmaker Canada Goose said to line up banks for IPO [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snap Inc.’s Spectacles are dropping in these crazy cool vending machines called Snapbots [AdWeek]

ADVERTISING
  • Luxury brands are failing in their storytelling [The Guardian]
  • Gap harnesses optimism in holiday ads [MediaPost]
  • Macy’s bets on power of Santa belief this holiday [AdAge]
  • Jennifer Saunders and Ewan McGregor sign up for Debenhams Christmas campaign [The Drum]
  • Kohl’s ramps up giving message in holiday campaign [AdAge]
  • Browns unveils new look, new website and innovative window campaign [The Industry]

UPCOMING EVENTS
Categories
e-commerce social media

Ralph Lauren knocks Michael Kors into second place in digital rankings

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is top dog in the US when it comes to luxury brand website visits, according to the latest study from digital-marketing company PMX Agency and data-analytics firm Hitwise.

The pair measured website visits in the year to June, and Ralph Lauren overtook last year’s winner Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren had a 19.2% share (that’s nearly one in five visits) compared to 18.5% for Kors. The figures were arrived at by measuring website visits, social media interactions and brand searches.

With Coach in third place (12%), Louis Vuitton next (9.5%) and Gucci fifth (5.3%), it clearly doesn’t leave a lot of room for the other 75 brands the companies tracked. In fact they said that the top 10 brands accounted for almost 80% of the website visit share. The remaining top 10 brand include Chanel, Burberry, Hermès, Christian Louboutin and Versace, and as the number 10 spot only gives the Italian giant a 1.7% share it’s obvious that everyone else is trailing the big players at the top of the list by a huge margin.

Online interactions are largely driven by women of all ages, but among men, it’s the 34-to-44 age group that engages with these brands the most.

luxe-study-bloomberg-chart

Interestingly, even though luxury is seen as more of a physical store or at least a large screen experience, global luxury brands got more than half (52% actually) of their US web traffic from smartphones or tablets. Perhaps that’s part of the trend that sees social media driving 6.3% of the website traffic. While that’s still a surprisingly low number, luxury brand social media followers have risen 40% year-on-year and we’re likely to see more explosive growth over the next few years.

Consumers visited websites 185.2m times over the study period, which meant 11.2% fewer visits than a year earlier. That’s odd given how much luxury brand have upped their game when it comes to offering richer online experiences and better e-commerce features for those who want to buy online rather than tripping off to a destination city’s flagship store.

Of course, the fall also comes at a tough time for the luxury sector with global economic woes and currency exchange issues denting sales of luxury goods worldwide.

“The drop in online visits can be attributed, in part, to external factors like fluctuating exchange rates, uncertain economic outlooks across the globe and reduced travel due not only to financial concerns but also terrorism,” said Glenn Lalich, VP of research at PMX Agency.

“Also notable is that more luxury interactions may be occurring solely with social platforms on social applications – predominantly mobile – and not always reaching the traditional luxury brand website,” he added.

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

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick

Burberry leads see-now, buy-now fashion week charge amid tiered industry strategy

Burberry's see-now, buy-now collection at London Fashion Week
Burberry’s see-now, buy-now collection at London Fashion Week

When the Burberry show walked out at London Fashion Week last night, absolutely everything was available to buy for the first time. The womenswear and menswear apparel, the accessories, even the make-up was shoppable. That’s a total of 83 looks, comprising over 250 pieces. They’re being sold through Burberry’s physical and digital retail network, shipping to over 100 countries.

This shift is what’s being called “see-now, buy-now”, a lengthy phrase for what is essentially the showing of current season stock over the traditional six month timelag.

As perhaps the brand making the biggest move in terms of sheer volume of stock already produced, it was a notable occasion that had to be geared around relevancy – showcasing things one not only wanted to buy, but actually wear right away as the weather starts to draw in. For those of us seeing the collection for the first time, it worked; offering an experience that enabled us to view it as though through the eyes of the excitable consumer (heavily aided by the live orchestra and incredible Makers House setup, which is open to the public for the rest of the week). Many of us, of course, then did become the consumer too.

For others, including long-lead press, it wasn’t of course their initial viewing having had access ahead of time to see the collection in its developmental stages. Many of them commented so during the evening – noting that in some instances they’d even already shot it. And there we have a little hint as to the future of what fashion week is going to look like – an elaborate showcase, a series of consumer events, a collection instantly available to buy, and a trade audience still willing to attend even if they’ve been privy to the line during its creation process beforehand.

If you’re Burberry that is…

Burberry's see-now, buy-now collection at London Fashion Week
Burberry’s see-now, buy-now collection at London Fashion Week

Or perhaps if you’re Tom Ford too. Speaking ahead of his show in New York, he told Vogue: “It’s [all ready to go] at Bergdorf’s, it’s at Neiman’s. They’ve photographed it for their catalogs, they had to sign non-disclosure agreements, they couldn’t leak any pictures. So it’s done. It’s all over the world ready to go into our stores.”

Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff and Topshop Unique are all also playing with full collections available immediately, albeit largely through their own distribution channels (and in some cases, like Tom Ford, a handful of select retail partners).

The entire strategy raises concerns for many businesses otherwise – especially those who are significantly smaller, either without the budget for such extensive showcases, or heavily reliant on winning numerous wholesale partners, making the close-to-season launch less feasible. The outcome of the CFDA’s commissioned report with the Boston Consulting Group into all of this, essentially said every brand would need to look at their own situation differently and try to define where they sit within it accordingly.

Speaking at a pre-fashion week breakfast hosted by Fashion & Mash in partnership with Soho House, Clara Mercer, communications director for the British Fashion Council, largely agreed, suggesting that what we’ll see is varying strategies over the next few seasons before some kind of shape and order is pulled together to make everything clearer.

As Tom Ford said: “I don’t know if this will be sustainable. We’ll have to see. I’ll have to see how it works; see how our customers respond to it.”

Experimentation is what’s been evident throughout both New York and London so far, with many brands trying see-now, buy-now in different ways, several of them releasing just a handful of exclusive products for sale.

Tommy Hilfiger see-now, buy-now
Tommy Hilfiger teamed up with Gigi Hadid for New York Fashion Week and its version of see-now, buy-now

Take Tommy Hilfiger for instance. Hosting what was undoubtedly the most extravagant of shows during New York, complete with full-fledged carnival, it showcased a capsule collection designed in partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid. In that instance, the Hilfiger brand is capitalising on a big name collaboration in order to shift not only this limited edition stock, but the significantly broader lines it has in place all around the world. It’s not so much about numerous wholesale partnerships for this particular collection therefore, but a broader marketing move.

Michael Kors meanwhile made around a dozen products available to purchase straight away, noting ahead of the show: “We’re finding that a hybrid blend is really what works for us.”

Then there’s Alexander Wang, who previously said he wouldn’t participate in see-now, buy-now, but instead surprised his audience by introducing a collaboration with adidas Originals live at the end of the show. Nine items from that 84-piece line were immediately available to purchase the next day via trucks across New York City, and following that in London and Tokyo. The rest goes on sale, as per usual, in spring 2017.

On a smaller scale, Temperley London sold just three pieces from her new collection – a printed dress, embellished jumpsuit and embroidered top. In doing so exclusively via social app Vero, she became one of the first brands to tie together the idea of see-now, buy-now as a fashion week strategy with the trend for social commerce. (Others including Burberry again are selling pieces immediately on channels like WeChat).

And then there’s Hugo Boss, which unveiled just a single bag, the Boss Bespoke Soft, in four colours for sale immediately after its New York show. This is much in line with what Prada did in February – jumping in to the see-now, buy-now world, but only via the delivery of two handbags. And that from one of the slowest brands to the e-commerce game, having literally only launched online via Net-a-Porter this July.

Vero see-now, buy-now London Fashion Week
Blanca Padilla, Isabeli Fontana and Ana Beatriz Barros pose with Alice Temperley in the three exclusive Temperley London see-now, buy-now pieces available only on Vero

Katie Baron, head of retail, innovation and insights at Stylus, calls these variances in approach part of an understanding that a tiered system might be the outcome of such experimentation. Of note of course is the fact Burberry has long sold the odd item for immediate purchase or at least pre-order from its catwalk.

“The first wave of see-now, buy-now generated a major panic within the luxury sector because it was largely taken as read that it would force luxury businesses anchored in long lead-time, high craft to whip their collections into being at high speed, pulling them uncomfortably close to the mass market. What we’re now seeing is an understanding that see-now, buy-now needn’t be so all-encompassing, as shrewd brands release either selected, controllably limited edition pieces (see Prada) or spin-off collaborations tacked onto the main show (see Alexander Wang X adidas),” Baron explains.

“It’s effectively creating a kind of tiered system to satisfy both the need for instant gratification and possibly younger consumers looking for a way into an otherwise prohibitively expensive world. This notion of ‘tiering’ is only going to become more important as retail, overall, becomes less one-size-fits-all.”

At the other end of the scale therefore are also the brands that have changed tack entirely, opting to forego wholesale models in the main to rather sell direct-to-consumer in the right season, and thus do so at greater speed and flexibility – not to mention regularity.

In London, Matthew Williamson is one of them. Net-a-Porter remains its only retail partner, meaning that team see the line in advance, but for everyone else, it happens in real-time. The latest “Calypso” collection, for instance, went on sale just ahead of London Fashion Week this season, launching with a digital influencer event, coverage on Vogue Runway, and instant pushes to relevant e-commerce pages. For them, this is a no-brainer. Ask Rosanna Falconer, business director at the brand, as to why, and the answer is incredibly simple: consumers have never been happier.