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Much has been said how to fix modes and making industry more sustainable, but like the weather, too often topics that generate relatively little discussion and action. Dries van Noten – who might become Elizabeth Warren of the fashion industry – hopes to change it.
Van Noten, Altuzarra CEO Shira Sue Carmi, and Lane Crawford president Andrew Keith recently organized a series of Zoom brainstorms with heavy hitters in the industry. The fruits of that conversation can be seen at Open letter signed by many known industry names – including designers such as Gabriela Hearst, Erdem Moralioglu, Joseph Altuzarra, Tory Burch, Craig Green, and Proenza Schouler Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez – and posted online yesterday. In it, the participants proposed a plan that would “change” the way the industry worked, something that had become more pressing given the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under their proposal, the current sales season will shift, with the fall collection being sold from August to January and the spring collection from February to July. Discounts will only occur at the end of the period, which will help ensure that the full price sales season lasts longer than at present.
The letter also considers sustainability, promises less fabric waste and “unnecessary inventory,” less travel, use of digital showrooms, and changes to fashion shows. “We agree that the current environment, while challenging, presents opportunities for fundamental and welcome change that will simplify our business,” said the group, “making it more environmentally and socially sustainable and ultimately aligning it closer to customer needs.”