PARIS — After a first presentation last June, Maxime Simoëns is skipping this season’s fashion weeks as his new men’s wear label switches to a see-now-buy-now approach.
The designer is opting to present the second collection for his new MX Maxime Simoëns line in private presentations to buyers before sending them down the runway when they will be available for sale in June.
“We are in a society where immediacy has become the rule,” Simoëns said. “The six-month lead time is no longer viable.”
The recent trend toward see-now-buy-now has set off alarm bells in the fashion world, with many saying the system could push designers to only create commercial pieces. Dior — whose chief executive officer Sydney Toledano was tasked with tutoring Simoëns during a previous deal with LVMH — has been among the brands to most emphatically oppose see-now-buy-now.
But the former haute-couture designer — whose gowns for stars including Rachel McAdams and Mélanie Laurent had been red carpet staples before he shuttered his women’s wear house in 2015 — does not agree.
“This discourse is false,” Simoëns said. “Designers know which of their pieces are commercial, and which ones are more for the runway.”
Under the “see-now-buy-now” model, Simoëns points out that he and his team will have an additional six months to build on the collection after showing to buyers, embellishing on a commercial base with more creative touches geared to the runway.
Simoën’s plans to sell the later additions to the collection as exclusive pieces online and in his own stores.
Simoëns says he hopes the move to “see-now-buy-now” will be able to prevent other brands from copying his looks before he can sell them.
“I have been plagiarized four or five times over the course of six months, which never happened to me designing for women,” the designer said. He claims his collection for spring 2017 sparked a trend for dot-matrix camouflage patterns that can now be found for sale at fast-fashion retailers even one higher-end brand.
“You can see this everywhere — in the street, on the train, in four other stores,” Simoëns said — while his own product won’t go for sale until late February or early March.
According to Simoëns, major houses depend on long lead times to inundate stores and magazines with advertisements and editorial coverage in an effort to “lobotomize” clients. “When the product arrives, the houses want the client to absolutely know what the look of the season is,” said Simoëns — a strategy he says is out of reach for fledgling brands.
Maxime Simoëns pivoted from women’s couture to men’s wear after parting ways with investor LVMH in 2015, and says he has looked forward to seeing his designs “live on the street.”
The first store for MX Maxime Simoëns is slated to open in April on Rue Vieille du Temple in Paris’ Marais district.