Why Rebecca Minkoff Is Showing Spring '16 Clothes This February

Photo: MCV Photo.
One of Fashion Week's greatest ironies is that we fall in love with the latest trends from our favorite designers, only to then have to wait four to six months for them to actually hit shelves. (Or, at least a few weeks before those trends are copied by fast-fashion brands). Rebecca Minkoff is about to tinker with this formula: The designer will be presenting her spring '16 collection (again) in February, when most designers show their fall offerings, so that customers can shop the styles immediately, according to WWD.

We've technically already seen the clothes, since Minkoff showed her spring '16 looks in September. Minkoff acknowledges that this move could seem odd (photos of the collection were shared months ago), but thinks it's just a matter of people getting acclimated to a new system. Minkoff is not only disrupting the traditional fashion-show chronology; she's also opening up the guest list — so that the people actually buying the fashions will be in attendance. Approximately 30 to 50% of the crowd will consist of "retailers and their best customers," according to WWD — plus, the usual mix of editors and bloggers will be on hand. It may not be Givenchy lottery status, but it is yet another designer making the fashion-show experience (slightly) more accessible to the masses.

“Our goal has always been to look and see where there are inefficiencies within the existing fashion supply chain, and see if we can create solutions within those that can create...a closer relationship with the customer, a closer relationship with our retailers, and spot those things and look to disrupt them," Uri Minkoff, the brand's chief executive and co-founder (and Rebecca's brother) told WWD.

The lag time between fashion show and retail delivery results in customers being tired of seeing a collection for six months (on the runway, then on celebs and/or in fashion editorials, as well as via knockoffs in fast-fashion stores) by the time the clothes actually hit the selling floors. The solution: a "buy-now, wear-now show" in which all the items seen on the runway are available to purchase immediately at Rebecca Minkoff and its retail partners. "What we’re showing is what’s available right then and within 30 to 60 days out, as well as a capsule of things you haven’t seen,” the designer explained to WWD.

The brand's production schedule is altering slightly, too: It will continue previewing the fall collection to editors and buyers in March. Then, Minkoff will tweak, alter, and fine-tune the designs leading up to a show in September, depending on the feedback she receives and what's happening in the marketplace. It's certainly a more practical (and bottom line-focused) approach to the fashion show formula; time will tell if other designers will follow suit.