“People want new things,” argued Miriam Lahage, General Manager of Lingerie Pureplay Figleaves, thinking about changes in the way fashion products are delivered. Some brands, like streetwear label Supreme, have weekly drops instead of waiting for a season change.
“We’re definitely moving away from the traditional fashion code,” said Charlotte Clutterbuck, customer director at Karen Millen. “Customers still recognize times when they receive a new seasonal product, but the coat season, for example, is different than it used to be.”
“We are also global, so we have to manage [drops of new product] across different time zones. “
Ryan Llewellyn-Pace, Commercial Director UK and Ireland at Barbour, pointed out that pre-collections are becoming increasingly important to allow retailers to sell at full price during sale times.
“The weather is changing and the cell phone has changed everything – being able to buy is a lot easier. Our success is based on trying to understand what is going on in the market and delivering those drops at the right time. “
Llewellyn-Pace admitted that it can be easy for a brand like Barbour, which is over 120 years old, to rely on certain classic styles instead of introducing new ones. To get around this, new categories such as knitwear and shirts have been introduced over the years.
For Clutterbuck, the key is to find a balance. Karen Millen launched a range of “Investment Basics” in August, offering wardrobe essentials such as tailored trousers layered over with seasonal hero pieces.
All three panelists said they’ll leave the trend hunt to the fast fashion players. However, they indicated that you can employ the right seasonal trends for your brand.
“When you see the seasons come and the new trends resonate with your customers, give them a call,” said Clutterbuck. “The tailoring comes through for fall / winter, and that’s the heart of Karen Millen. Finding that balance is an art form, but listen to what you’re great at. “
“We may not be Missguided or Topshop, but we need to rethink how we approach the supply chain to be more responsive,” added Lahage.