Imagine treating a fashion week runway show as your own personal shopping opportunity. Instead of simply swooning at Galliano’s opulent extravaganzas or drooling at Balmain’s edgy chic, imagine actually interacting with the show and ordering directly from the runway? Well you may not have to imagine for much longer.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that a new online fashion venture called Moda Operandi (do you see what they did there?!) will make some shows available to order directly. Moda Operandi will be a members only site and is expected to launch during New York Fashion Week in February 2011.
Moda Operandi promises to make collections from design houses including Thakoon, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, Narciso Rodriguez, Vera Wang, Alexander Wang and Giambattista Valli available within 48 hours of the runway show. Members will order and pay a 50% deposit, and the clothes will be manufactured and shipped in roughly four months.
I think this is a very smart move. It is clearly great news for the consumer as they don’t have to wait as long for their fashion fix, plus they have greater choice than simply browsing a shop with limited stock selected by a buyer. For the designers it means that there is less chance of seeing their designs ripped off as they will beat counterfeits to the market. Designers will also get to see which pieces are immediate successes and which pieces aren’t selling, thus eliminating guess work and clearance sales.
It has been said that fashion buyers and physical retail stores will become obsolete but I don’t think this is true. There will always be the consumer who wants her wardrobe editing done for her and so shops in a specific boutique because they carry labels she likes and have taken a lot of the work out of her hands.
What do you think? Is this the future of fashion?