The Gucci effect: what does seasonless fashion mean for retail?
The idea of ditching seasonality in the fashion industry is not a new one. The concept of a more timeless fashion industry has been a mainstay in conversations for a while, and can often be seen cropping up in the narrative around sustainable fashion. So, when fashion giants Gucci debuted their seasonless collection at March’s London Fashion Week, we all sat up and listened. There’s more than one factor that’s changing the shape of fashion retail right now, but seasonless fashion could just be the next big thing. We’ve taken a look at what it could mean for you…
What is seasonless fashion?
Seasonless fashion makes the idea of ongoing spring/ summer and autumn/ winter lines obsolete. The idea is that seasonless fashion slows down the fashion consumption cycle, providing core pieces that transcend the traditional seasonal collections, with durability, timelessness and quality at the heart.
Gucci’s contribution to the conversation marks an important milestone for the seasonless fashion movement, but according to a survey conducted by Retail Week and Salesforce, around 94% of UK retailers believe that the shift to seasonless fashion started in 2016, as the call for a slower, more sustainable fashion industry has gradually grown louder. In other words, this is, in many ways, another spoke on the sustainability wheel and has been around for longer than we might think.
How will this affect your buying cycle?
This, for us, is the real question. If fashion goes seasonless, how will this affect your business operations and your buying cycle? Here are just a few of the things to bear in mind:
Bringing the supply chain closer to home
According to Retail Week and Salesforce’s report, the number one consideration for retailers has been bringing their supply chains closer to home, and sourcing products made in Britain. This is not just a sustainability consideration, though. Instead, retailers want the reassurance of quality goods and quick turnaround times; two things that are much easier to control with a supply chain close to home.
Clearance sales could become a thing of the past
We’re not saying promotions will be gone altogether. But seasonal clearance sales will be rendered unnecessary if stock can stand the test of time. The need to clear winter stock to make way for summer products will no longer be a concern for retailers who stock capsule collections with statement pieces, rather than clear winter or summer ranges.
Investing in quality
Standing the test of time is one of the key threads running throughout the seasonless fashion movement, so investing in quality stock will need to be a consideration as it gains momentum. Pieces that are seasonless stock for you, will be multi seasonal essentials for your customers, so they’ll be looking for pieces that will last. Timeless design, basic pieces and excellent manufacture will be key.
Getting to know your customers better
Forget the sustainability angle for a minute and there is a much more business-savvy reason to adopting seasonless styles. Having a more static stock rotation will allow you to really delve into what it is your customers are buying: what shapes do they like; are there any clear winners when it comes to colour; what is their preferred price point. All of these things will help you to cater directly to your customers needs, so that when they do need to invest in their next piece, you’ll be their first port of call.
Have you adopted a seasonless approach yet? Let us know how it’s working for you and your customers by emailing us or letting us know on social media.