Armand Hadida: "A fashion show only makes sense if it reaches the general public"
According to Armand Hadida, a revolution is in the cards in terms of the fashion show calendar, and beyond the profession's organisation. A revolution that has been predictable for a long time but which had not been anticipated, in particular by the industry's institutions and corporate organisations which group together the luxury fashion labels.
"I have been alluding to this possibility to Didier Grumbach (head of the French federation of haute couture, ready-to-wear apparel, stylists and fashion designers, ed.) for many years now," pointed out the L'Eclaireur stores co-founder and also the Creative Director of the Tranoï trade show. "Obviously we could not let the fashion collections be broadcast across the media four or five months before they went on sale. It was too much of a danger for creativity. "
According to this front-rank player in the fashion world, this kind of laissez-faire has allowed the 'imitators', Armand Hadida notably cited Zara and H&M, to get rich cheaply, by playing the fast fashion card.
The US offensive on the 'see now, buy now' theme has also set a cat among the pigeons. "The Americans are somewhat right. A fashion show only makes sense if it reaches the general public," said Armand Hadida. "It's what marketing is all about."
He has his own idea about the calendar. "It should be split into two periods," he said. First, as is the current practice, three or four months before the products arrive in stores, there should be a series of presentations in showrooms and private venues, for buyers only." These presentations may last three days. Armand Hadida does not rule out the presence at these presentations of four or five journalists invited by the labels, who can be given snippets of the collections. "It'd be a way of knowing who cheats and broadcasts the images," he points out. According to Tranoï's creative director, it would also be a way for fashion labels to regain control of their image.
Then, just before the products hit shelves, come the runway shows. These would be open to everyone: bloggers, journalists, etc. They would have to turn into major communications operations, as they have increasingly become. And especially, they must generate a maximum impact everywhere. "French and Italian labels are currently opposed to this model, but they will end up getting there," he said.
For Armand Hadida, there must always be a change in how young designers approach the creative process. "They must leave past practices behind, and also the academies themselves must stop teaching them," says Hadida. They must abandon the idea of a collection in order to concentrate on the clothing, on one single model for example, they must be flexible. Why not do without showrooms and focus on the end customer, who is today's decision-maker. Social media allows this. They could create network collectives, etc."
The co-founder of L'Eclaireur also added: "Of course, they would have to put their egos aside."
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