Rodarte is the latest brand to announce it will be leaving the traditional fashion week calendar, and changing the way it presents its collections altogether moving forward.
In an interview with Business of Fashion, designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy stated that beginning this season, Rodarte will show during Paris fashion week. But that’s not all. After Fall ’17, Rodarte will leave the regular fashion calendar altogether, instead syncing up with the couture schedule that takes place in January and July.
This model is not unheard of–and has become something of a trend in recent seasons. Vetements joined the couture schedule beginning with its Spring ’17 show, and Public School briefly adopted it as well (although Public School has since returned to the regular New York fashion week calendar after its founders left their positions at DKNY).
Though the sisters’ reasons for moving were tied to business and retail, aligning Rodarte with the couture collections makes a lot of sense given the Mulleavy’s already create incredibly intricate collections on the level of demi-couture. Their beautiful clothing has never been the most “retail friendly,” operating outside the scope of trends and other mass market movements (see-now-buy-now this isn’t). Separating themselves from the hundreds of designers showing during NYFW might allow for better consideration (and appreciation) of what is coming down the runway.
Which brings us to the second (and arguably more interesting) piece of news from the article: The Mulleavy sisters announced they will produce a third collection annually, which will be more “accessible”. After years of being one of the most-talked about brands in New York, and successful partnerships with Target and & Other Stories, it’s smart for Rodarte to cash in on its good name with a more commercial line.
“Kate and I don’t place limitations on ourselves,” Laura Mulleavy told BOF. “I don’t know if it’s good for people to believe success is only growth and expansion if they don’t have a solid understanding of what they can offer. It’s something to find out first, because you just get lost. We try to do what is true to us.” When, where and how the lifestyle brand will be presented has yet to be announced.