The Pandemic is Disrupting The Fashion Seasons
What is the fashion life cycle of a collection?
To understand the fashion cycle easily, we are going to make a summer/spring collection for the year 2022. I have divided the cycle into various phases. They are:
1. Creative phase:
During the month of March and May 2021, designers research and develop fabrics for the upcoming season. Fabric manufacturing has a lead time anywhere between 40-65 days depending on the complexity of the pattern and type of the fabric.
2. Sampling phase:
Once the fabric is receive by the designers, they start to work on various styles for the upcoming season. They develop various samples and prototypes to be presented in the upcoming fashion week.
3. Fashion week:
The Spring/Summer 2022 fashion week will be held in June 2021. The fashion enthusiasts, designers, models, buyers, journalists, photographers, and everyone who wants a piece of the latest fashion flocks to get a seat in the fashion show. Models catwalks wearing the items made by their designers. The photographers take photos, designers criticize, buyers decide on which item to purchase during this time.
4. Ordering phase:
Not all the designs that are showcased on a ramp walk get into production. Once the fashion week is over, the buyers follow the designers and brands to place their orders for the most potential items that they would display in their stores. This period after the show is considered an important and busy day of the fashion cycle.
5. Production phase:
Once the orders are received by the brands, they compile and place manufacturing orders with their factories around the globe. The lead time for manufacturing can also be from one to two months. By the end of December, the production is supposed to be over.
6. Arrival phase:
Between the month of January and March, the spring collection 2022 will be shipped to various stores around the world for individual buyers.
This is an example of a life cycle in fashion. Imagine that in a span of twelve months, brands try to develop and manufacture items for 4 seasons. All the six phases mentioned above will be different for various seasons and designers work on a tight schedule to meet their deadlines.
Now you know why retail seasons are always ahead of the real seasons. This normally creates confusion for many. Consider the arrival of summer clothes in the wintertime. The idea is to be ahead of the real season. This gives the brands enough time to sell, while old season clothes are sold at discount prices.
“I find it absurd that, in the middle of winter, one can only find linen dresses in shops and alpaca coats in the summer, for the simple reason that the desire to purchase must be satisfied immediately. Who buys an item to put in the closet waiting for the right season?” – In a complaint, Armani wrote addressing the retail season issue.