CAPSULE CLUB: Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood are joining the see-now, buy-now gang, with plans to offer a capsule collection of 20 pieces from their unisex collection that will show on Saturday in Paris.
It is the first time the Westwood brand is offering a preview capsule collection and it will be available to buy immediately after the spring runway show for the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection.
The pieces have been hand selected by Kronthaler, Westwood’s husband, design and business partner, to reflect the key inspirations, styles and silhouettes of the season.
The collection includes dresses, sportswear and jersey daywear; tailored and casual jackets, and a cotton shopper. It will be available exclusively at Vivienne Westwood flagships in London, Paris, Milan and Los Angeles as well as on the brand’s web site.
The company said it simply wanted to test the strategy this season and that Kronthaler would provide more details following the show.
Westwood is the latest designer to experiment with see-now-buy-now, a trend that has been sweeping the industry with the promise of satisfying those customers who find it hard to wait six months for runway designs.
Among the other Europe-based designers who have experimented with see-now-buy-now formats for spring are Alice Temperley, Oliver Spencer, Preen, Topshop Unique and Moschino. Burberry did an entirely see-now-buy-now show, and was the first big brand to commit to the strategy, in February.
Some designers — mostly those who rely on wholesale orders — say they’re in no position logistically to create a full see-now-buy-now collection, while others argue that it’s simply an advertising gimmick.
There are those, however, who want to see more designers doing see-now-buy-now. Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, has been an advocate of the strategy from the get-go, and reiterated his feelings following London Fashion Week.
“The customer has changed and technology has changed all of us. The way the customer looks at these artful creations that once held their attention for six months, has changed. The creations become stale and the customer isn’t interested six months later because they’re over the clothes. They want the new thing that is dancing down the runway in front of them. It breaks my heart to say that, but that’s what is happening,” he said.