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Tom Ford to Exit London Fashion Week, Do Away With See-Now, Buy-Now

In other words, Tom Ford does whatever he wants

Apparently, see-now, buy-now is not, in fact, a one-size-fits-all formula for designers craving a more consumer-minded approach. For starters, Thakoon earlier this week announced that he’s putting his eponymous label on hold after presenting his instantly shoppable Spring 2017 collection in New York last month. And now, Tom Ford, who decided to skip the Fall 2017 season in order to focus on Nocturnal Animals, said this morning that he plans to do away with see-now, buy-now and resume a normal fashion week schedule in New York.

According to WWD, Ford said his attempt at the direct-to-consumer strategy, which lasted only one season, resulted in a loss of a month’s worth of selling because the store shipping schedule simply doesn’t align with the fashion show schedule. For Fall 2016, he said his clothes shipped by July, but that they were kept off the floor until the day after the show in September. He added that specialty stores became frustrated at having to keep the wares off the shelves, and ultimately, the immediate post-show excitement—which is essentially the entire idea behind see-now, buy-now—wasn’t worth the loss of long-lead press and sales. 

It’s worth noting that Ford has been pushing the fashion show envelope for the past few years. He’s staged intimate shows in London, glitzy, celebrity-studded affairs in L.A., small dinners in New York, and has even hosted a runway show in which no one but friends, models, and photographers were allowed. But now, it seems, he’s going back to square one. Regarding his choice to call New York home once again, Ford said, “Paris is crammed full of competition. Milan—been there and done that. London, I’ve tried and tried and tried,” adding that London simply doesn’t garner enough eyes internationally.

In addition showing in New York, Ford also revealed that he’s moving his primary residence to L.A., and will move his women’s studio to Regen Projects, Hedi Slimane’s former space. (His menswear studio will remain in London.) The designer, who showed his Spring 2017 collection to press today in the Big Apple, will return to the traditional calendar for Spring 2018 in the fall. Apparently, he’s seeking out a spot on the earlier side of NYFW because it’s “when everyone is still in a good mood.” Given the industry’s turbulent climate, he’s wise to do so.

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