The fashion year in a timeline
Today, I thought it would be interesting to shed some light onto the overall process of creating a fashion collection – I think this is quite an interesting topic that a lot of end consumers do not know much about, solely because the main contact they have with the brands is when the garments are in shops and overall, brands rarely show the whole process leading up to the behind the scenes we do see.
Of course, there will be differences between brands’ specific schedule and timelines, but this gives a general idea of what the calendar year looks like for a brand.
It is an often-mentioned problem that the fashion cycle is exceptionally fast-paced and repetitive – and this actually applies not just to the garment process itself – do not forget that the textile industry also has to keep up with the same timeline, but their cycle has slightly earlier dates compared to fashion brands, as they need to be ready before the pivotal points in the brands’ cycle.
The cycle is often incredibly stressful and can be over-whelming for smaller brands where there are fewer team members so work duties can be numerous. It can be exceedingly difficult for designers to have time to recharge their creativity and have the motivation to create new, fresh and innovative collections. There is a significant overlap when the previous collection is still being wholesaled & produced, whilst designers should have already started work on the new collection. At oubinov, I have the big advantage of having my own production facility because it means I can divide the team – some will be doing production for the collection just past – that production will be either for our website, or to fulfill wholesale orders from buyers, and another part of the team is working on the designs for the new collection.
The process is exceptionally complex as it is linked heavily to the rather maniacal quest for new clothes on the market that has arisen from the growth of the fast fashion market. This is also the reason there has been an increase of the in-between Resort & Pre-Fall collections – to fill out the so called “gaps” between Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections being available on the shop floors.
Setting up at buyers' trade show in Paris
As you, readers, will find out soon enough through my blog posts, I (and not just me, by the way) have numerous, big issues with the fashion industry as it stands right now. This never-ending fast cycle for producing collections is one of them – have a look at the timeline again, and take a step back to soak all that in. There is so, so, so much going on. So much overlapping is happening, and it is so chaotic living it. There is extraordinarily little time for the very basic mental rest needed to recharge your batteries so you can churn out another collection in a couple of months.
Fabric exhibition show in Paris
And this is where things become very dicey. Fashion in and of itself is a creative field. The fashion industry is a multi-trillion money-making machine. These things are very contrasting and hardly ever allow for a harmonized meshing of the two different angles of fashion which means that smaller brands (and this actually encompasses pretty much every brand except the global brands who have been around for decades) struggle even more to balance revenue, staff numbers and delegating duties in order to free the designer up so they can be more creative which is of vital importance because let me confirm for you – there is a worrying decrease in new, interesting products and it can be linked to the problem of fast fashion. And there are many brands and retailers out there so…it gets hella repetitive and boring, especially when most everyone is focused on the timeline, rather than the product.
In the first few blog posts, I’ll cover the stages and phases of working in the industry, so watch this space for more insights!