How Smartphones Are Killing Off the Fashion Show

Illustration by Anna Parini.

Excerpt from this article:

“Social media is the laxative of the fashion system,” said Scott Galloway, the founder and chairman of the digital consultancy L2. “It makes everyone digest everything much faster: trends, product discovery.”

The digital world has schooled an entire generation — called the IWWIWWIWI generation (I want what I want when I want it) by the New York consultancy Open Mind Strategy — in immediate gratification. Though the Twitter-Instagram-Facebook-Snapchat nexus started as a golden promise, a way for brands to seize control of their own messaging and cut out the middlemen of retailers and critics and communicate directly to their customer, it has created a situation in which it is no longer acceptable to many women to wait six months for something they have just seen. Especially if they can get an acceptable simulacrum at a fast-fashion brand down the street, like Zara or H&M, which was able to spot the garment via pictures and measure its success via the number of “likes” it achieved.

And this has been confused further by the back-and-forth promotion of what is shown on the runway (products for the next season) versus what is in stores (products from the current season), and exacerbated by the rise of precollection marketing in between.

“In the past, we used to see a dramatic spike of sales when the collection was delivered to stores; that trend is no longer really the case,” said Paolo Riva, the chief executive of DVF.

Sarah Rutson, the vice president for global buying at Net-a-Porter, said: “Our psyche has changed. It is all about immediacy.”