In the age of instant gratification, it only makes sense that the fashion industry has slowly started to capitalize on our I-need-it-now mentality. The cutely coined See-Now, Buy-Now business model is essentially a shoppable runway, and it’s taking the fashion industry by storm.
It seems like common sense that people should be able to see a fashion show and order a piece from the collection on their phones in the backseat of a cab an hour later. However, this business model is not widespread throughout the industry. The majority of brands are still working under the confines of Fashion Week cycles, showing their collections two seasons in advance and brining them to market six months later. However, brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Mansur Gavriel, Ralph Lauren, and Rebecca Minkoff, to name a few, have redefined their business models by moving away from the old ways of the industry, and they are seemingly reaping the benefits.
Mansur Gavriel, the New York company famous for its iconic Bucket Bag and reasonable luxury prices is one of the few companies championing See-Now, Buy-Now. Eponymously named after founders Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavel, the brand was born to redefine the new cool girl. With their unconventional guerrilla marketing and adoption of See-Now, Buy-Now, Mansur Gavriel is not only inspiring their customers’ aesthetic, but also creating a revolutionary shopping experience.
The brand’s aesthetic is minimalistic, colorful, and modern, and it has garnered Mansur Gavriel over half a million Instagram followers. Their Instagram feed is carefully curated and constantly updated with new content. With a successful and ever-growing social media presence, the brand sees no reason to adhere to the traditional practices of the industry. The company’s adaptation to the modern consumer’s needs will be displayed in September’s Fashion Week as they premier their first ready-to-wear line.
From it’s inception, Mansur Gavriel has employed an alternative production and retail model from most pre-established fashion brands. The increasingly popular brand has historically alternated between brief periods of major restocking and long stretches of sold-out products and waitlists. This has often left their client base of new cool girls “literally dying” as they wait for Mansur’s semi-seasonal restocks. The reveal of their ready-to-wear line coincides with a volatile time in the fashion industry that is fueled by the new cool girls’ generation and their propensity towards social media, activism, and bodysuits. It will be exciting to see how customers respond.
Alternatively, established brands like Tom Ford that started See-Now, Buy-Now required a lot of restructuring and leaps of faith in implementing this experimental strategy. The transition could easily be argued against as not worthwhile, especially considering that the fashion industry is seriously set in its ways; despite their claim to value innovation, the entire industry would likely need restructuring before See-Now, Buy-Now made monumental changes to a single brand. Retail, marketing, design, and production, in addition to the many other cogs in the fashion machine, would need to be simultaneously updated to truly accommodate any shift from the traditional ways. For many companies, the old saying “if ain’t broke don’t fix it” rings very true.
In spite of the challenges, brands are continuing to integrate See-Now, Buy-Now into their models. Like Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff has reported numbers that would lead anyone to believe that See-Now, Buy-Now could revolutionize fashion. Regarding their sales using See-Now, Buy-Now, Rebecca Minkoff reported a record high in sales, beating their best day by 25% despite being open for only half the amount of time. These numbers are surely correlated to Rebecca Minkoff’s dedication to an intimate, personalized experience that accommodates the lifestyle of her customer base, which, like Mansur Gavriel, is comprised of contemporary, millennial females.
Interestingly, it seems as though luxury is aligning more with principles of fast fashion and brands of the masses. This shift is a telltale sign of how time really is money, even for the most glamorous of us. It will be interesting to see how See-Now, Buy-Now experimentation will activate more innovation and transition within the industry, or be chewed up and spat out by the archaic ways of fashion. As self-proclaimed leader of the new cools and a big fan of bodysuits, the idea of instant access and an intimate relationship with the brands I love is exciting. But I can’t say I’m holding my breath.