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Two groups aiming to change the fashion industry join forces to bring systemic change

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

3 Dec 2020

Fashion

Back in May, in response to the pandemic, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten and a group of brands and retailers including Thom Browne, Acne studios, Mytheresa and Selfridges signed an open letter in a forum to the fashion industry announcing a proposal of “adjusting the seasonality and flow of both womenswear and menswear goods.”

Another initiative, Rewiring Fashion, launched nearly simultaneously, but voiced by a different group of independent designers, executives and retailers, called out a fashion calendar that is out of sync with the end customer and a fashion show format that is outmoded.

The two forces are now joining together with a common aim to solve some of the fashion industry’s biggest yet ongoing issues. At the Business of Fashion’s annual Voices gathering the groups said they would merge together to drive systemic change.

In an aligned calendar stores sell winter garments in the cold season

Van Noten’s initiative sought to align the calendar selling winter garments in cold weather and summer clothes when the season is warm. While logical in thought, the fashion calendar is wired nearly polar opposite, with high summer collections going on sale before summer has even started. The change would minimise markdowns but upend the current mode of selling via wholesale.

Rewiring Fashion seeks to tackle fashion week, the inherent problems of too many shows, too much traveling and ultimately being out of sync with consumers who can’t buy collections shown on the catwalk for a further six months.

Both iniativies believe it will take a united industry to create real change, wrote the Business of Fashion. This is the reason why they are operating collectively as both had overlapping members and goals.

“The new factor is that people are talking to each other, we’re sharing information,” said Dries van Noten.

Image: Dries van Notes via Catwalkpictures