Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Luxury Brands To Mimic Fast Fashion? We Think Not… 5/10/10

We know that to keep ahead and be a true leader in the luxury industry, brands must constantly innovate, take risks and embrace change. We found a comment by Cavalli Group’s CEO particularly interesting. Musing that luxury brands may need to take a leaf out of the ‘fast fashion’ retailer success stories (think H&M and Zara), a six week life cycle from concept to retail, ‘it’s all about keeping stores looking fresh, customers excited and ‘needing’ to come back to see what’s new, and managing inventory.’ In fact, a lot of luxury brands manage at least six ready-to-wear collections per year– some up to eight (Spring Summer 1st Drop, Spring Summer 2nd Drop, usually Runway Collection, High Summer in some cases, pre-fall, Autumn/Winter 1st drop, Autumn/Winter 2nd drop, usually Runway Collection and Cruise). Having new stock every six to eight weeks is a tall order from luxury brands, particularly given the propensity of Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton etc. to source exotic and unique raw materials, fabrics and embellishments from all over the world. Production is more artisanal in its approach with high standards and quality control. Good luck working these things into a fast fashion, Zara-like model!

Luxury isn’t about functionality in the way of fast fashion. It isn’t meant to be disposable. Wear fast and affordable fashion once, twice, and you feel good about your purchase. Luxury is an investment, and as far as we are concerned, worth the wait. Copying the model of fast fashion would be to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. By its very nature, luxury is not meant to be mass-market. Instead, innovate as Burberry is doing. Live streaming shows and having 'some' key products ready for sale when the creative director takes their bow... now that's a luxury and no one can complain about speed to market...

Image credit: lucilelikes.com

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Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury, www.moluxury.com.au