When Burberry decided to take the plunge at London Fashion Week last year, and embrace a new ‘See Now, Buy Now’ model, fashion gurus and the runway clan were just as amused as they were amazed. Amused because, although many designers had previously released capsule collections in this format, it had never been done by a luxury brand for their mainstay collection. And, much to everyone’s surprise, Burberry received a brilliant post-show response despite the high price points of the new arrivals.
Fast-forward a year from the first fashion show breakthrough and now we’ve seen Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff, Thakoon, and many others who’ve joined the See Now, Buy Now bandwagon.
Here’s How It’s A Game Changer
The idea of the format is to align runway collection releases with production schedules and do away with the traditional format where customers would have to wait for 6 months after the runway show to get a hold of the pieces. Of course, you’ve noticed that all Fall-Winter showcases take place in February while Spring-Summer showcases debut in September—until now, that is.
With this shift in the fashion industry many players, especially those who’ve critiqued both concepts, are questioning the validity of either model. The point is, an alternative was never in place earlier and now that it is, things just got a whole lot more interesting for the fashion lovers around the world.
See Now, Buy Now: Hit Or Miss?
Although brands who have adopted the format haven’t disclosed the spike in sales or profits after introducing the concept, the “sold out” mark definitely says a lot. The first Tommy X Gigi fashion show—which also had pop-up shops at the event—witnessed major sales from show-goers who bought pieces from the collection on the spot. And within a few days, their online store was virtually sold out. Intelligent marketing, the right celebrity collaboration, an array of influencers wearing the clothes, coupled with an immediately ready-for-sale collection seems to have proven to be a formula for success for Tommy X Gigi, and we hear their second line is receiving a similar response as well.
“We’re delivering on the desire for instant gratification and blending the worlds of fashion and pop culture together,” designer Tommy Hilfiger said.
Can Luxury Brands Pull It Off?
The most frequently asked question among the veterans was: Will this model work for a high-end designer label that does not sell products for less than £300? Brand Tom Ford was the first to perform relatively poorly, as compared to Tommy, as most garments were expensive and therefore remained untouched even though they were instantly available for sale.
Then, how did it work for Burberry? Well, the British fashion house’s tech-smart approach made it appear more accessible. They blew up on social media platforms (they live-streamed the entire show on Snapchat, Facebook Messenger). Result: The brand was no longer viewed as a snooty luxury label that only catered to the elite. This consequently pushed sales to a wider audience and even though there were takers for the new collection, it is Burberry’s seasonless garments that got another lease on life and witnessed an increase in sales.
From the brand’s point of view: The See Now, Buy Now model requires a great deal of work and effective collaboration between the brand, suppliers, and retailers. Fashion houses often find the three month period insufficient to work on an entirely new collection. Even so, brands who’ve adopted this strategy have been able to manage time crunches and deliver spectacular collections. The validation lies in an increase in sales, brand equity, and customer reach.
From the fashion lover’s point of view: “I want what I want, and I want it now!” In an age dominated by millennials who now have an increased purchasing power, the instant gratification aspect of the See Now, Buy Now format is very thrilling. We’re glad brands are changing their archaic ways, introducing diffusion lines, collaborating with high street labels, using influencers who we identify with… the See Now, Buy Now concept is an extension of this change.
See a release of the hottest shoes at Fashion Week on Facebook; click add to cart; wear those booties out on the weekend; WHAM, now that’s just how we like it!