Even faster fashion and its impact

An article in BBC.com (September 8, 2016) titled “Designers aim for even faster fashion” describes the option of ordering items shown on the runway as a new fashion trend offered by Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger. This approach drops the role of fashion magazines and trend forecasters and rushes product directly to the customers. But other industry observers claim that this is the result of competitive pressure on fashion designers caused by H&M and Zara and online fashion companies like boohoo.com. Is there a downside to this rush to get the runway apparel to the customer without the discussion that might cause an adjustment to the fashion?  Will the feedback from the early adopters impact overall sales significantly, and, if so, might there be a benefit to delay satisfaction of their demand ?

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67 Responses to Even faster fashion and its impact

  1. Christine Rasquinha says:

    The fashion industry has a very short product life cycle. From the conception to runway, the company is able to acquire feedback from multiple individuals. However, if the company is forced to rush the apparel to the customer, before making adjustments, it could result in a loss of sales because customers may not find the product quite right. If the company does launch the product quickly, it may be able to gather a few more additional sales over a short time period. The problem is that these few sales could create a bad brand image for these brands because the designs are not adapted to fit individuals who are a part of the “Regular” society.

  2. Sarinah says:

    There is an appeal to have the consumer’s demand for runway designs in their hands, the faster they receive it, the faster companies get sales and purchases. The downside to a faster fashion supply chain is that this affects the “textile waste”. In an online article by National Public Radio, when fashion becomes fast and cheap, it damages the environment because these clothes were designed not to last long. With this in mind, companies must not only look at the short-term profit gain but the long-term environmental impact that affects their corporate social image.

  3. Shashank Chinnolla says:

    Now a days with the burst in the use of social media or other online platforms, the customer is all about NOW. There are many customers who are willing to pay a higher price for a shorter lead time. By attracting these customers, the brands can effectively use them to promote their clothes line and also make up for the higher price for the shorter lead time. By engaging the early adopters in the actual product, the brands will also become first to the market and capitalize on the growth curve. I wouldn’t be surprised if brands start offering the products for sale right after the ramp walk. The challenge in this case would be demand prediction and willingness to pay for these early adopters. Also by analyzing the purchase pattern of this kind of sale, the brands would also have a better idea of the overall market size giving them an edge over competitors and not having to wait till the clothes line hits the stores.

  4. Adam Davis says:

    The rushing of product directly to customers seems to be in line with the trend of greater democratization in many industries: not only avoiding the middleman, but also doing away with the so-called industry experts. No longer can the fashion magazines and forecasters be the gatekeepers who determine which styles are accepted and discarded. While it seems worthwhile to have these industry mavens test the waters before shipping out product, greater consumer demands will eventually make it impossible for them to have the first say.

  5. Murilo Siqueira says:

    Although a good alternative for the early adopters, companies would incur much higher production costs from line flexibility.
    Textile industry is a very low margin business, and the way companies increase profits is by economics of scale. If one has to have a 100% flexible line, to work in a JIT method and provide trends as soon as they are released, production costs for all the products would increase by a lot.
    Thinking that early adopters and fashion addicts represent a small share of the market, all other customers would be worse off by seeing price increases for them, and this could result in an overall loss for the entire chain.

  6. Eric Zheng says:

    The “even faster fashion” definitely fulfills the demand of early adopters, and may have fashion suppliers to take a lead and enjoy their first-mover advantage. However, shorter time for data collection by skipping fashion magazines and trend forecasts can add on to the already high forecast error, especially since feedback from early adopters can be somewhat biased considering their innate preference. Customers to adopt a new design immediately tend have a fashion taste on the cutting edge that may not fit that of the majority of customers, resulting in inaccurate or exaggerated feedback to suppliers. Thus, this particular business model may fit high-end fashion brands a lot better than those aiming at mass production.

  7. Jutong Cui says:

    The quick response and customer pulling supply system of ZARA bring lots of competition to the apparel industry. Compared with the vertically integrated capability of ZARA, its competitors have to try to start the manufacture much earlier. The best way is to follow the trend of an early runway with some adjustment. Those adjustments may come from industry experts, not necessarily come from the early adopters. The downside may be higher forecasting errors but the gain is to lead the market. Rushing experimental small batches production to customers in advance may help to direct the market and get early feedbacks. If a brand can create popular series, lots of customers would be willing to bear a longer lead time to get that.

  8. Xin Wen says:

    Rushing products directly to customers after the fashion show, the company could definitely increase the sales, however, the company should do the forecast by themselves before the fashion show. At this point, the company cannot have the knowledge of the feedbacks. The forecast error may be large, which costs the company a lot. Even, it is faster, and can gain some profits, but with a high risk.

  9. Yi-Hang Yang says:

    The competition of fast fashion results in even faster fashion trend in order to get the early adopters before anyone else do. This seems to be applicable but it’s way too reckless if the fashion companies only focus on those apparels displayed on runways. We have to consider if early adopters’ preference will fit in with what the majority of people like as well, it can enjoy the benefit of this even faster fashion. On the other hand, if people have different taste from what those early adopters like and can not accept such new fashion, this forecast will cause tremendous error.

  10. Xiaodan Liu says:

    The fast fashion is more competitive and because of rush the product directly to the customers, the company will sale their product much earlier than others. Plus the information on line is update every second, the social medias have controlled the fashion directions, what the customer want today can be totally different from what they want “1 hour ” ago. The fast fashion will take the majority part of the market before others. But there is also a risk related to it, the gain from rush of the product could be a short-term benefit, and there is also a risk that create a bad brand image because of the repeatedly changing products and low quality, the company will have the risk of losing a lot customers. Thus from the long run side, the company can not do business just rush the product to their direct customers, they should also keep their business to those people who are more stable and not influenced by the rapidly changing fashion trend.

  11. Milind Patel says:

    Fast delivery of the apparel after the runway walk would be very appealing to consumers that follow fashion trends heavily. As Shashank mentioned, with the impact of social media nowadays in industries such as fashion, consumers want their product now. The difficulty to delivering the new trend right after the walk is forecasting how many of those units will be bought from the end of the walk and over the course of the next few weeks. Since these high fashion brands like Burberry and Tom Ford are always pushing the envelope with style, it seems it would be difficult to get a forecast on completely new products.

  12. Nathan Lowe says:

    I agree with Christine in the fact that one of the biggest concerns with this “ultra-fast” fashion is the issue of garment quality. Under this adjusted model, products would have to be at peak quality when they hit the runway because sales would then begin immediately afterwards. However, often the designs are pitched on the runway and then the firm goes back to optimize the quality. Having to achieve the quality standards before the runway events would increase the time for a product to go from an idea to a runway-ready product. This increase in time could delay the release of products to the runway, which could result in the product missing the fashion wave as the sales cycle continues to grow shorter.

  13. subhash katragadda says:

    I believe fashion purchase are impulsive, the more people see a model on a social media or fashion posters the more they are driven to buy it and today’s world of social media revolution fashion firms ability to put a product on both shelf and the runway at the same time is equally important to its ability of designing a trendy product, so I believe faster product launches and devising even quicker methods to incorporate feedback in next model is important for the success of fashion firms.

  14. Koustuv Pal says:

    Famous author Oscar Wilde once said that ” Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to change it every six months”. So if a fashion design is adjusted it actually becomes a new fashion and the old one is lost which we would have lost anyway after six months and making a profit before the fashion runs out of fashion is the right thing to do. However because fashion designers such as Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger are historically associated with the higher echelons of society we must figure out where the runway should be.
    Apparel industry and particularly fashion apparel is unlike the electronics industry where feedback from early adopters matter quite a lot. Fashion is very individualistic and what looks good on someone may not look good on other and vice versa and so i do not foresee any significant benefit from the satisfaction of their demand unless the product itself has quality issues

  15. mfoust35 says:

    I think there is a huge downside to rushing to get runway apparel to customers if one is looking at the supply side. In this situation, the designers will have to either have inventory on hand or have rush suppliers to supply the immediate demand. Both of these options would be expensive. Furthermore, having the inventory on hand is a very big risk since actual demand is not known and is all speculative. Adjustments in the initial fashion items themselves or small adjustments to consumer tastes would force the fashion companies to continue to use rush suppliers to meet demand (or risk having significant inventory that is useless), and feedback from the early adopters would further complicate this supply chain since it could change consumer tastes. With regard to fashion items that need to be sold in large quantities, I don’t believe this type of supply chain is a wise business decision. Now for very high-end fashion items, this type of supply chain could be sustainable. Suppose only a very limited number of units will be sold of a particular item, then the increase costs of rush suppliers and expediated shipments could be justified because the price tags of the items themselves are so high. Overall in an industry where consumer tastes change so quickly, I don’t believe there is any benefit to a delay in satisfaction.

  16. Vinay Gundam says:

    Looks like the growing trend in satisfying customer needs immediately has caught the apparel industry as well. This kind of demand is mainly from early adopters, whose share in the product life cycle is very less. The advantage I see here is apparel companies can extract a premium price for delivering latest trends as quickly as possible. They can also use this information to decide to manufacture more clothes which are successful to satisfy the demand of customers in later stage of product life cycle. They will be in a better position to forecast for this group than for the early adopters and apparel companies can focus their effort in manufacturing a select range of apparel which have proven to be successful and leverage economies of scale. But the down side is that choice of customers in later stages will be limited by the choice of customers before them.

  17. Senthil says:

    Apparel industry is having more new products introduction every season. To get the sense of what is the fashion in the next season, it is better to get the maximum possible data about the season from previous adjacent season. This strategy will help to improve the profit of the company. Just sending the runway apparels to customers in bulk quantity without investigating the other sources to learn about fashion trendy is a hasty approach in the business. By producing products only based on the runway apparel information would be difficult for the manufacturer to adjust to other fashion sources. This might cause a huge loss to the company if they are not flexible to the trends being observed close to the season. So, feedback from the early adopter has to be carefully considered and verify whether the new product design is matching the trends from early adopter. If they are off from the trend then they have to make design and order adjustments to reduce demand forecasting errors which would lead to losing the competitiveness edge in market.

  18. Yuang Wang says:

    Today, with the proliferation of online users, differentiated purchases are also driving the development of fashion goods. Many customers are willing to pay a higher price for shorter delivery times. By attracting these customers, brands can effectively use them to promote their clothing line and make up for higher prices in shorter delivery times. But it’s worth noting that fast and fast delivery does not mean a decline in quality of the goods. When fashion becomes fast and cheap, quality can have an impact on the company’s brand image. Companies must not only focus on short-term profitability, but also focus on the long-term environmental impact on their corporate social image.

  19. HANOOSHA NAGIREDDY says:

    The fashion industry is a short term, with a seasonal trend but the work behind is not rapid. The designers make design many months before the season and launch their styles at runways. These styles when marketed through fashion magazines and celebrity models create the demand which is forecasted and produced for the season.
    The option of ordering items shown on the runway as a new fashion trend can sure reduce competitive pressure from the retail stores by providing the product directly to the customers but this means that the production must be fast and be able to cater to these early demands.
    Most of the people are not always following the fashion shows and are updated about the trend only through magazines and by eliminating these, there could be a drastic drop in sales.
    Also, the early adopters can misuse the designs if there is no regulated retail store that issues these products first. It’s better to delay their demand satisfaction to get accurate demand forecast .

  20. Aloma Aurelia DSouza says:

    Once a product is launched on the runway, it is then published in fashion magazines through which criticism is received which provides feedback to manufacturers to forecast the demand.
    In case the product launched on the runway becomes directly available to the end user, it bypasses the use process of receiving feedback as the manufacturers have to plan the production schedule well in advance to meet the initial demand without any feedback.
    In my opinion, it makes more sense to delay the demand but have more efficient production forecasts. Feedback from fashion magazines may increase/decrease sales, but production can be planned accordingly to avoid major losses.

  21. Sumit Singh says:

    The rush in the fashion industry clearly shows how competitive the industry has become. The trend life cycle is so short that there is no time to “test” a design. If it fails, companies will move ahead quickly, and if it’s a success, they would have en cashed hugged profits by getting the quick mover advantage.
    The only downside I see is that there will be huge “wins” and huge “losses” for the company. Fashion magazines offer a chance for the design to get genuine feedback form early adopters and fashion influences, and without this step, company will be betting high odds on its product decisions.
    Thus if a company is looking at a segment where it wants sustained sales, with low to medium margins, this approach will not work as the losses from this rush strategy cannot be recovered in this segment.For high margin luxury segment, I guess it might work.

  22. Krishnajit Bhattacharyya says:

    Bypassing fashion magazines and websites and directly reaching the customers from the runway will obviously affect the sales. The customer feedback is essential in the fashion supply chain, and if the customers do not find the products right, there will be a lot of excess inventory resulting in net losses. If the fashion companies are able to effectively channelize the feedback of the early adopters, they might be able to benefit somewhat.

  23. Hee-kyoung Han says:

    If the apparels are delivered directly from the runway to customers, it means that the company should forecast future demand with a lot less information, which obviously increase the risk of forecast errors, high inventory cost, or cost of lost sales. However, the significant benefit for this strategy is to capture customer’s attention as early as possible which is expected to increase sales in the season. Therefore, to maximize the benefit while lowering the expected costs, it is essential for those companies to establish optimal supply chain coordination according to the different phases of demand realization. In this sense, the feedbacks from early adopters would be the most valuable source of information to estimate the demand over the season, which is the key information needed to achieve customer demand satisfaction.

  24. Apurva Hardikbhai Desai says:

    We are now in the era of immediate gratification. People would immediately want the clothes which they saw their favorite celebrity wearing or would go to the store looking for dress which they liked on the cat-walk. Thus introducing new fashion generates immediate demand which is the major advantage for retailers as it compels more people to walkin the stores at the time of introduction. Furthermore, replacing the items with newer fashions keeps people on their toes and they will be willing to pay higher price as the same items won’t be available in the future. This allows retailers to receive higher markup prices. On the contrary, this may lead to the exploitation of the production resources and lead to poor working condition in developing countries and increased pollution.

  25. Yu-Ting Hung says:

    The company is scrambling to bring runway apparel to customers, demonstrating the competitiveness of the fashion industry. Fast fashion companies such as H&M and Zara have changed their business strategies and then accelerated the speed at which customers receive information. From a company perspective, its preferences from customers are reduced, it should bear a higher risk of predictive error, and even higher manufacturing and inventory costs are needed to keep up with time. However, if it can correctly predict customer trends, it can take the lead in getting the first steps before other companies. I think that most people like me don’t really pay attention to fashion shows or runways. We still receive this information through fashion magazines or websites. Therefore, delays in meet our demand do not cost a lot, and can even help companies focus on the right trends and provide us with high quality products.

  26. Li Yize says:

    There must be a discussion which focus on the effect of making any adjustments, specially for the large company. Because, brand image is very important for the luxury brand. Any incomplete step will damage its brand image. If the brand image or the additional value of luxury brand decrease, their profit will be ruined. Feedback from early will impact sales because there is a trend of fashion lead by those early adopters who have strong influence of fashion trend. If the early adopters’ demand was satisfied delay, there will be some rumors like copy product or similar product which can also impact the brand image of luxury brand.

  27. Pauleth Charris says:

    I think the idea of having ready-to-wear apparels right after the fashion shows will make luxury brands have an advantage over other players in the industry. Luxury brands usually dictate the trends in fashion, therefore, other companies in the industry follow them. If fashion houses prepare ready-to-wear collections, their sales might get benefit from the normal impulsive behavior of fashion customers. Social media and internet general has helped those brands to spread their influence across a global young population which is characterized by pursuing the latest trends. There is a lot of potential for growth but the advantages are on having the collections ready after the shows otherwise other big, inexpensive and high efficient players could provide the same trends in short time.

  28. Hsing Chiao says:

    If the company rushes to get the runway apparel to the customer without the discussion or adjustment, it probably could increase a boost sale in a short-term. However, there is a higher risk that the negative feedback from the early adopters impacts the overall sales severely. The concept of the runway is a chance for a designer to show off a particular aesthetic or a particular point of view, so most of them are not ready to sell. The apparel company still need to forecast the customer demand and make some adjustment of the products before sending to the market.

  29. RUI LUO says:

    Yes, and No.

    As we all know that the competition of trendy fashion apparel companies is more severe in these few decades. Since the requirements of customers are getting more complicated and specific, more and more companies are trying to build the fast-reply supply chain to meet the requirements of those picky customers and increase the mold of each category of the outfits to pursuing that high-speed turn-over and refresh. Some of those companies do receive the advantages from the speed and trying, such as H&M, ZARA.

    But here, what we talking about is not those brands like I mentioned above, we are talking about brands on some very high level, or to say, on the top of the market, then the story could be totally different. For brands like Burberry or TomFord, the number of their products and new products launched each season couldn’t as the same as some cheaper brands’. This is mainly because that no matter for the price that they will be tagged or the number of their loyalty customers, that couldn’t fit for those fast-reply supply chains which will cost tremendously. But that’s not the end of the story, because of those giants also could use some social or fashion-famous to help them to do the advertisement for certain several products before they official landed, which is already versatile in some famous brand’s promotion strategies.

  30. Akshara Anand says:

    With the advent of fast moving apparel introduced by H&M and Zara, the apparel supply chain is witnessing a tremendous change. Companies burn out too quickly – as seen in the example of Forever 21 – which is forced to shut down a significant number of stores globally after filing for bankruptcy. Analytics and responsive supply chains puts pressure on companies – due to which they offer benefits such ordering items shown on the runway. Traditionally, bulk orders for a new season are made months in advance, due to the high lead time and demand variability. However, with giants like H&M and Zara increasing their inventory turns every year, fashion has become more and more dynamic.
    As more customers order from the runway, it could create a demand pattern based on what is in and what the season is going to look like – thereby reducing variability – which could be a positive factor for fashion companies.

  31. Mengying Song says:

    In my opinion, this phenomenon in faster fashion was due to the core idea of the supply chain revolution – “faster and more flexible”.
    One way to reach faster and more flexible service is “Skip the supply chain”, which means selling directly to the end consumer. With the development of the Internet, especially social media, seeing and ordering has become a coherent process for many consumers. In this way, the distance between products and consumers were shortened.
    For brands, the model of direct sales to end consumers can not only help brands better manage the terminal experience of consumers, but more importantly, it can obtain consumer data more directly, quickly and comprehensively. These consumer data can provide high-value feedback for brands, help brands make a series of adjustments from financial planning to terminal sales, and improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

  32. Dan Sun says:

    Of course, there is downside to this rush to get the runway apparel to the customers. How long will this style of clothes last? Will it fade away so fast like it comes in the market? How will manufactures and retailers respond to unexpected trend coming in? Also, feedback from the early adopters will have some impact on overall sales. Nowadays, with media develop so quick, bloggers, youtubers are most likely those first adopters. Customers, under this high-speed information age, will be significantly impacted by their reviews. Thus, the whole supply chain linked to a certain brand might be infected. Therefore, adopting postpone strategy towards design and manufacture seems reasonable, and in this case, though not satisfied with customers immediately, retailers can reduce their risks, and enhance the cooperation between nodes in this supply chain.

  33. Ke Wan says:

    Aimed to provide a ‘faster’ fashion directly to customer may help FMCG companys like H&M or Zara to earn market share from their competitors. However, this marketing strategy may not suit for traditional fashion industry player, like Tom Ford or Tommy Hilfiger. Studying and accurately judging the future fashion trends is one of the goals for these traditional fashion practitioners, ignore the trend and rush the production directly to customers may increase the impact of forecast error.Also, ignore the trend impact of reaction from customer may let these company lose the oppotunity to correct demand forecast during the season.

  34. Aditya Vats says:

    Stores like H&M and Zara have changed the face of the fashion industry. They have improved their supply chain and have increased inventory turns in an industry with extremely high lead times and high demand variability. Due to this increase in efficiency and cut-throat competition, fashion companies such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger have come up with ways to attract highly fashion-conscious customers by offering the option of ordering items shown on the runway. As the product reaches the customer as soon as a design is launched, it affects the entire trend for the season as more and more customers buy the product. This could lead to a high magnitude of misjudgement by companies who still use their traditional methods of trend forecasting. In this case, there would be a benefit to delay the satisfaction of customer demand till there is a definite trend which is in for the season.

  35. Keshav S Nair says:

    Fashion companies trying to reach the customer via the latest trends in various fashion shows will generate a mixed response, in my opinion. The early adopters would prefer to try out the latest fashion, however, how whether they would pass on their judgement to laggards is unknown. The cut throat competition in the fashion industry, coupled with fast turnaround times by Zara has undoubtedly put pressure on fashion retailers to try out something new, and this approach could well be a differentiating factor at least for the affluent crowd.

  36. Ryan Ma says:

    In the fashion world, they would always have to adapt to new players and their new tactics. For example, when fast fashion houses like H&M and Zara came out it revolutionized the logistics process. In which designs can be on store shelves in a matter of weeks. With the emergence of technology, and the fact that you cannot patent clothing design. Designers have to offer the look immediately to the consumers. If the turnaround time is quick enough for third parties and priced competitively, it might change the system even further. The early adopters may be able to save sales for a few more seasons until the next big wave hits. When the time approaches, they would have to adopt possibly “augmented reality” and “virtual reality” in the distant future. I believe there might not be a benefit for the delay because almost everything else that is tangible and of a certain size can be shipped anywhere from overnight to a few days. People’s attention spans have decreased as technology has improved.

  37. Sounak says:

    Yes there is a downside to this rush delivery. In case there is a negative feedback from the early adopters regarding the design, or materials, or any such factors, it will impact overall fashion industry. Due to competitive pressure on fashion industry, retailers will try to build their product in advance which may / may not match the runway fashion, this will in turn will led to product obsolescence in case customers don’t like it. Similarly, for rush delivery, based on the early adopters feedback, a company can make a huge profit or run a risk of diluting their brand name.

  38. haocai1227 says:

    Actually fashion clothes is the thing which can’t be judged by common sense. Some people choose to buy and dress fashion clothes because they have read fashion magazines or saw celebrities wearing new clothes, if brands skip this process and send its newest designs to their customers directly, customers may not like it just because nobody has wear those before them. In order word, fashion clothes’ business model is different from common products, cutting down lead time can’t make sure that the demand will not change. What’s more, H&M and Zara’s targeted customers are not the same people base as Burberry, Gucci or LV. It is no need for them to worry about losing those loyalty customers whom just to want buy luxury and are not senstive to price or lead time. On the contary, what they must avoid is dilutiing their brand image and lowering customers expection.

  39. abhilashajks says:

    While it’s lucrative for a company to bring the clothes from the runway to the customers to capture market share, it’s not without it’s risks. In an industry where forecasting errors are already high, doing this would further increase the chances of loses due to loss in sales and unsold inventory. It will be also hard for them to forecast accurately as the early adopters may not be able to speak for the larger population. Another by product of fast fashion is “textile waste”. These trends are environmentally unsustainable. They generate large carbon footprints in processing clothes which are very short lived. There have been many brands, whose brand image was negatively impacted for burning unsold inventory. It is better for businesses to use the concept of “postponement”. This way, they can keep basic inventory common and prepare final products when the order is realized. They would be able to reduce their risks and in turn not create high textile wastes. They may even be able to recycle the unsold inventory to create products for the next season.

  40. Archit Bimal Shah says:

    The fast fashion will increase the need of the customers and change their mindset, leading to increased wastage, as this will shorten the duration of use of the cloth, and frequent turn over of the closets. This will reduce the impact of influencers, as people will get to try new designs themselves. This will create uncertainty on the life of the product since it is not evaluated and adjusted causing good designs not to work, or frequent re-release of the product later after correction when people have moved on to the next fashion. Feedback from early adopters can significantly impact the demand, and thus delaying the satisfaction of demand can give us a better idea of producing, pricing, expected demand. Thus there is an advantage to fast fashion but it cannot be done now keeping sustainability in view, due to frequent changes and high wastage, and reducing product lifecycle.

  41. Kartik Misra says:

    The fashionable products, especially those displayed on the runway, demand a higher price. The color pallet used and the design plays a critical role in the fashion industry. Taking hints from the designers and big fashion designers is a sure way to be part of the ever-changing trend.

    As fashionable products demand a higher price from the early adopters, it’s a sure way to make a profit, and those who enter the growth phase of the fad can make a quick buck. As a higher price is ensured, the producers should look at a quick response supplier that can change adjust to the supply early, in case the demand picks up or falls.

  42. Jayasri Thoppe Kuppusamy Balakrishnan says:

    Yes, it is risky to rush the apparel to the customers without any discussions as it is subject to fail in the market which will impact in the apparel going to the outlet malls. Feedback from the early adopters is really important to plan the production, which will hit the market after 6 to 8 months. Delaying the satisfaction of their demand is beneficial, as the forecast error is going to minimize.
    Some fashion trends or short-lived and if not responded in a timely manner, it will be out of sync to release in the market.

  43. Li-Ren Syu says:

    For decades, fast fashion company always tried to outperform fashion branding company regarding their low cost policies. They’re not being innovative in design process, instead, they’re innovative in in supply chain management. By duplicating similar design with cheaper price, company such as Zara, H&M successfully dominate the low-end market with their similar products after few months of new designs released from fashion company. However, the trend seems to end recently after the bankruptcy of Forever 21, customers are losing their interest toward low-end fashion products. Probably because of the highly similar clothes has made customers no longer consider them as “fashion” making quality and cost becomes the only factor that differentiate those cloths, in other words, losing the value of being fashion.

  44. Aanchal Narula says:

    The biggest downside of getting runway apparel so quickly to customers without feedback is the high amount of wastage and environmental impact! Getting clothes to customers quickly would imply planning production in advance and if the item does not click – imagine the amount of wastage. Any information helps generating better forecasts and thus in the long run the benefit of delaying this satisfaction even for business! Additionally, fast fashion is impacting our environment more than we imagine – an interesting read: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/jun/21/fast-fashion-is-on-the-rampage-with-uk-at-the-head-of-the-charge

  45. XUAN DONG says:

    “Getting clothes on the runway show directly to customers” is good approach to generate more sales as mentioned in the article it cut short waiting time customers have to go through before getting products they desire. Personally, I think in the apparel industry, the product shelf-life is relatively short compared to other industries. Therefore, to get products ready for customers as soon as possible is imperative for apparel industry. Companies like H&M and ZARA have been seeing some success by using this business model. However, the companies with high-end products need to use this model with caution. ZARA has vertical integration business model. This is the first reason why it can get products ready for customer in the timely manner with cheaper production cost. Secondly, ZARA put more focus on trend than quality, and its customer don’t mind the quality that much because of the cheap price. That’s why customers will repeatedly go back to store to shop. It is hard for companies with high-end products to shorten production cycle due to quality control and relatively high production cost. There is also a risk to this “faster fashion model”, as mentioned in the article, there is risk the trend will change after the runway show because this model skips several review processes like trend magazine. It hinders sales to large extent. The feedback from early adopters will have impact on sales because their options seem to be only reference for followers. If there is drastic change in the trend and negative view from early adopters, companies with high-end product will incur much more loss than companies like ZARA and H&M. In addition, I don’t think delay satisfaction of early adopter demands will be the fix to the issue. It will negatively affect the over-all sales.

  46. Li Zhao says:

    I think it’s a risky but worthy move in fashion business. In apparel industry, ideas can’t be protected like technology. This is the reason why ZARA prospered. Every new season Zara sent their designers to every important fashion show, copying fashion ideas from luxury brands. Thanks to their fast and responsive manufacturing process, they can always beat other brands in timing. Ordering items shown on the runway may get an upper hand on fast fashions. From marketing perspective, synchronizing with runway can be a good selling point. In recent years, success of GUCCI could be an example of such strategy. When GUCCI rise up about five years ago after 10 years loss, it launched a series of clothing and purses that didn’t follow any trend report in that year. Such a bold move got huge returns because millennials loved its new style. However, risk is much bigger than usual ordering process. Among these items, sales results may be very different from each other.

  47. Deboleena Sen says:

    There will be a downside to the rush of getting the runway apparel to the customer in situations that witness significant and abrupt changes in the environmental conditions. For example, if the temperature starts dropping way before Fall is expected to arrive, the clothing preferences will substantially change irrespective of the fashion trending on the runway. However, if nature doesn’t interrupt and the fashion company has the capabilities to deliver trending fashion within 24 hours of receiving order, they might be making a name for their responsive supply chain.

  48. Shih-Feng Chiu says:

    If this really happens, it may be a huge shock for the whole fashion industry.
    First of all, we have to know that the apparels on the runway are all masterpieces for those fashion designers, like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Thom Browne…… However, these clothes, pants, or shoes are not always appropriate in our daily outfits. The business models of these fashion retailers are totally different from those fast-fashion retailers like Zara, H&M, Bersheka….. These brands offer low prices and trendy apparel to customers. Because people can use very low prices to afford the latest fashion clothes, they keep buying the latest items in every season. However, for those items on the runway, can they be accepted by most people? Is it possible for those fashion retailers to produce their items as fast as those fast-fashion retailers? To me, I want to put a big question mark here.
    Indeed, these top fashion designers are subject to the copyright problems caused by those fast f-fashion companies. But for them, they still have their own advocate, those who purse premium quality, pay particular attention to quality. The real fashion retailers have their own business model: They emphasize orginality, pay attention to quality. So, I think these are little impact from the early adopters. And procrastinated satisfaction is not a big problem for these retailers.

  49. Sanjula Sinha says:

    Fast moving fashion poses three specific threats :
    1. Rapid outdation of new fashion, hence putting more pressure on designers to stay on their toes.
    2. Secondly it will lead to wastage of material and fabric which is an environmental hazard.
    3. It will put them in direct competition with online retailers with whom they are competing through this method.
    Hence it will take away, the differentiating factor on which this industry thrived away and making it easier for e-commerce industry to later on conquer as there would not be any other business model challenging them.

    Yes feedback always helps but in pursuit of fast fashion , chances of incorporating those feedback will probably be low. And even if it happens, the market will move away due to the fast fashion way of business. Hence, rendering minimal benefit.
    Demand management and behavioural aspect of this buying process would be significantly dependent on the pricing policy then. That is, direct runway products getting offered at a premium price as compared to the later updated versions.

  50. Although rushing runway apparel to customers without any adjustment is a very responsive creative, and authentic manner that satisfies the curiosity and capricious appetite of customers, there is a downside to it. By majority, runway apparels intend to deliver the concept of upcoming trend (i.e. preppy style is in fashion, hippy style is in fashion) in an exaggerating sense, practically the clothing material may not easily be maintained and cleaned, functionality may be limited (i.e. some cloths are too explicit to move around in), and the design may be awkward to wear anywhere else except on the runway. The feedback from early adopters will impact overall sales significantly since its always going to be a new stuff to customer, prior customers’ feedback would weigh a lot in making buying decision, apparel industry who targets the fastest fashion can release a batch of smaller amount of runway direct apparel to satisfy the early adopters and with their feedbacks altogether with the professionals’ discussion, make adjustment for the bigger crowd of customers for the delayed satisfaction of demand.

  51. Longyu Guan says:

    Under the pressure on fast fashion brands and e-commerce, apparel industry has become a strong competitive market. Having this “even faster fashion”, I believe this rush can generate more sales in short run. A lot of people purchase clothes based on others’ reviews. For example, when they decide to buy a T-shirt, if they see a negative review on magazine or social media, they may change their mind. This direct sale can avoid the influence from middleman and social media, so the sales would increase. However, this runway apparel has a serious disadvantage. Without generating customer data from fashion magazine, apparel companies are hard to make trend forecast. In other words, these companies would face the risk of unexpected sales and holding much inventory.

  52. Siddharth Sourabh says:

    The customers caring about fashion will definitely be ready to pay more for a shorter delivery time. The companies can then earn their costs on faster delivery back by increasing sales prices as the customers are willing and waiting for new fashion. One thing that the fashion houses need to be aware of is an issue faced by ZARA, of low-cost duplicate materials copied from zara’s designs. These copied goods were cutting deep into zara’s sales. Also, if thinking about fast fashion, fashion apparels can also give serious thoughts to zara’s model of stock-outs. By stocking out frequently, they will encourage customers to drop in more frequently ( fearing the stockout of new fashions). This increased foot-fall can lead to increased sales as well.

  53. Srijan Saurabh says:

    With the influx of online designers and retailers, fashion has become a fast pace industry. But it has also made possible to analyze the taste of the customer with respect to the age, purchasing power, and geographic location. The early adopters become are the litmus test for the design and on their reviews, along with the online data, the forecasters can determine the future. So I believe this rush to get the runway apparel to the customer without the discussion is actually beneficial for the industry.

  54. Shekar Sankar Raman says:

    With better understanding of technology and learning to use it right, people want instant gratification. People would naturally want to wear the same clothes they saw their favorite celebrity wear in a show or an award ceremony, and this is exactly what Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford are giving them. The whole idea of pushing sales to the customer instantly is based on the celebrity advertising it for them. As long as they ‘hype’ for the fashion exists there will be demand. However, there are downsides to this. Since it does not have a closed room fashion show for the designers to judge, there is no proper feedback about the design of the fashion. Thus lack of feedback could backfire in a way that it reduces sales, thereby incurring a loss for the retailer. It could also lead to creation of excess waste, without a means to sell the item or dispose of them properly. The impact that the feedback could have is significant. The style could appeal to a very small demographic, but if the retailer does not have that feedback, it could lead to the retailer to purchase an abundance of the commodity even though there is very less demand for it. That is it could hamper the forecasting of demand.

  55. Forever 21 recently announced it is filing for bankruptcy; The news is not a great surprise to anyone following their story and the fast fashion clothing category in general.
    Zara gets a lot of the credit or blame for taking the idea of quick-response manufacturing and really running with it.

    I feel like the companies that are going to do really well in the future are the ones who are not following the economies of scale but instead producing only what they need, making to order, and producing near their markets.

    The benefits for fast fashion retailers will be a smoother customer journey, allowing shoppers to enjoy a faster, easier, and more instantaneous experience.
    But the major challenges will be the same for small player, like maintaining inventory for speed & agility, achieving manufacturing pace to grab more & more market share & ultimately making whole this thing profitable enough.

  56. Jilan Liu says:

    Yes, there is a downside. By surpassing the fashion magazines and treed forecasters, the designers could indeed reduce the time lapse. And this also a way to counteract the competitive pressure from fast fashion brands, but only if the designers could actually deliver what customer expect. Hence, in apparel industry, where customer preferences are somewhat unpredictable, designer should not simply skip the process of collecting customer feedbacks and compete speed with those fast fashion giants. Instead, designer should take advantage of their strength, which is to create demand. By closely partnering with popular fashion magazines and even internet celebrities, designers could make use the feedbacks from their early adopters to direct new fashion trend, generate demand and make their production plan accordingly.

  57. Gautam Venugopal says:

    Fast fashion is a double edged sword. The trade off is a lack of proper feedback mechanism. Allowing customers to directly order from the runway viewing may see an initial spike, owing to the wealthy customers wanting to sport the apparel dawned by their celebrity idols. The retailers using this initial spike as a forecast can lead to stockpiling and wastage (bullwhip effect). While immediate responses are exactly what run the fashion industry, I am of the opinion that a more cautious approach clubbed with competitve pricing can serve them better. Weather conditons and the response to the style need to be addressed. Advertising through “influencers” could be a viable alternative to improve the feedback mechanism.

  58. Shane Bryant says:

    The way I see this issue is there could be a downside for the high fashion designers such as Tommy Hilfiger. When you offer the access to purchase these clothes right after the runway, you could incidentally put a strain on your supply chain while searching for increased revenue. I see the fashion magazines that run in the months after the fashion shows as a way to pull the demand and take out some variability before the production starts within these high end fashion companies. By offering the quick ordering option, the supply chain would have to coordinate accordingly to meet uncertain demand from the early adopters while also maintaining the flexibility to react to majority when they order during the next season.

  59. Lakshman Rajagopal says:

    Fast fashion, while providing instant gratification to the current generation, does have many drawbacks. Aggressive fast fashion model puts a lot of strain on the supply chain which might not be sustainable. Decisions such as choice of fabric, colors, trends, sourcing of the fabric, and manufacturing tend to have long lead times. With fast fashion, there is greater reliance on local sourcing which could increase the purchase costs. Furthermore, fast fashion relies on high turn over rates for customer purchases. Profit margins will be reliant on how fast, and how often customers buy their products. The overage cost and the detrimental effects on the environment are also matters of concern.

  60. Ravleen Kaur says:

    Feedback from early adopters will help the companies because the life cycle of trends is very short so companies which do not have designs as per customers demand will incur huge lost sales and excess inventory of items not in demand. The competitive pressure has pushed the companies towards more optimized and responsive supply chain and focus to build capabilities that would help them forecast the designs efficiently and help them reduce forecast error to compete in the race of fast fashion.

  61. Vrinda Chopra says:

    In this age of technology and online shopping trends being so popular, fashion brands leveraging the same is beneficial for them. As customers would not have to wait long for wearing the clothes their favorite celebrities wear in fashion shows, it would be responding quickly to the demands. This would increase customer satisfaction and happiness quotient. But the downside to this is the feedback from the early adopters and the high demand forecasting uncertainty. Fashion industry being a fast moving industry, having such models can lead to highly unmet demand or if a product does not receive proper response it can lead to poor response in general. So companies should not highly depend on such a model.

  62. Pardha Sai Vangavolu says:

    For companies like Zara, its easier to bring about runaway fashion directly into the market as the coordination within the different levels of the company’s supply chain is intense. Such coordination enables faster cycle times thereby ensuring a lesser lead time before the product hits the market.
    However, for other companies its a huge bet in terms of inventory investment if they were to adopt the runaway fashion marketing.
    Without proper feedback from early adopters, such companies will be facing high demand uncertainty and may lose significant business should the demand fall or surge at any given point of time. Proper feedback from customers will ensure companies adjust their inventory plans a bit ahead of the actual demand realisation thus improving sales.

  63. Yeqi Wu says:

    The feedback from the early adopters would impact overall sales significantly. If they don’t have feedbacks from customers, the forecasting accuracy would be impacted. Furthermore, if the brands wouldn’t satisfy demand because of the forecasting error, the reputation of brands would be hurt.
    Those high-level fashion brand shouldn’t mimic what H&M or Zara are doing, since the target customers are different. H&M and Zara are focusing on customers who don’t care service and quality too much. Otherwise, Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger are focusing on customers who are really caring about service. Therefore, the strategy would be different.

  64. Junaid Imtiaz says:

    Fashion nowadays has become very dependant on influencers, Basically, the customers have developed a herd mentality where Fashion shows have an immense impact on customer trends. Models and celebrities at these fashion shows serve as influencers with millions of followers and on social media etc. With the current capabilities of social media and the internet, fashion information from these fashion shows and models is readily available and is constantly updated. This complements the faster fashion concept very well, as the customers can be quickly targeted as in the current fashion climate the adjustment period concept is becoming redundant as the lifecycle of apparel has become very short as customers follow the influencers and fashion shows actively and do not wait for adjustment and reviews.

  65. Shubham N Srivastava says:

    It seems that this new trend would be revolutionizing the industry practices. Since customers will be ordering directly, they would be exempted from several SCM charges. This new trend would be good for some and not so good for others. Since service level in this method would be reached 100% easily, it looks like it would snatch a major chunk of regular businesses and a huge first mover advantage would be observed.

  66. Abhishek Chokshi says:

    Fast fashion may seem like a good option from afar, but when looked at carefully, it actually isn’t that appealing. With fast fashion, there is a lot of cost associated with its supply chain. To satisfy the reduced lead times, there is a compulsion to adopt local sourcing which can be an expensive task for the supply chain managers. Furthermore, the demand forecast and optimal quantity prediction becomes difficult when we talk about fast fashion. Feedback from early adopters cannot be relied upon. Furthermore, H&M and Zara serve a different customer bracket when compared to brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry, thus, a they should not assume that a policy working such brands, also work well with a luxury brand like theirs.

  67. Debashis Tarafder says:

    There are in general 6 to 8 seasons in a year in fashion retail, putting the industry in a huge pressure of design obsolescence and demand uncertainty. Traditionally different fashion shows and fashion magazines set the trends and apparel companies forecast demand based on the trends and early adopters’ feedbacks. Now in the present discussion, companies such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger are going one step ahead and offering the runway fashion directly to the customer. Initially this may create a shock to the whole apparel supply chain, as it will increase the forecast error even further. Vertically integrated companies such as Zara would be able to respond to this faster changing trends but a large portion of the industry will fail to respond quickly due to long lead time.
    However, I believe that companies will be able to respond to this situation by postponing the point of differentiation. Apparel companies need to analyze the value addition curve and postpone the most value added activity beyond the point of differentiation. This arrangement would save the traditional apparel companies from inventory obsolescence.

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