Without the major fashion brands, the fashion industry would no longer produce works of art that influence the world. The fashion industry’s rollout schedule is set up so the most creative and brilliant minds create looks for the future. The pieces of art sent down the runway are always intended to attract copycat versions from other retailers, but not in the way that has become normalized. The way retailers highjack original ideas and concepts from the most creative individuals in the world is a crime. Who is to say that they don’t deserve all the credit and revenue from their own designs?
The entire fashion industry is built on the backs of couture. The luxury brands only a select few who can afford to create the masterpieces that become trends trickling down to even the lowest degree of retailers. Couture houses like Dior and Lanvin set the bar as high as it can go for luxury in the realm of fashion. It is for that reason the brands release their collections six months before the actual lines come out in stores. It allows the trends to make their way through the fashion editors, buyers and creative directors of less high-end brands.
This set-up gave fast-fashion a leg up on the more expensive originals and allows them to release copycat versions before the originals go on the market. While this does give more people the opportunity to obtain trendy clothes, it negatively affects the high-end brands. They are missing out on revenue each and every time someone chooses to buy a cheaper version of their clothes, just because they are tired of waiting for the original. This has caused many brands like Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford to make “see now, buy now” collections, in which consumers can purchase the clothing immediately after or even during the premiere of the collection.
This trend recently took over New York Fashion Week and affects some European fashion brands. This allows the original piece of clothing to be the first on the market, instead of the copycat versions. It also allows consumers the opportunity to buy the clothing immediately, rather than coveting it for months, which benefits the brand that actually came up with the design.
The designers felt a push to transition to this new wave of commerce because of the lack of general interest in the original pieces by the time they are on the market. Consumers are flooded with pictures of the clothes on Instagram for weeks during Fashion Week and then are able to buy the knock off version at their nearest H&M within weeks. By the time the original piece is available, the consumer is bored and has already moved on to the latest trend. The designers and CEOs of these luxury brands are tired of losing revenue due to the long wait period so they are taking away the opportunity from other retailers to get the jump on them in the market.
To the average consumer, or a broke college student, this could impact them every time they shop online or in stores. You may think, ‘why should I care if a multi-million-dollar brand is losing some sales to Forever 21?’ If the high-end brands collapse, then the fresh fashion we get from the mall every season will be without creativity.