Mulberry goes see now buy now in 2018, will skip next LFW for London/Paris private views
Mulberry is the latest fashion brand to join the see now, buy now movement. It has announced a move designed to build a more direct connection with its customers via an instantly shoppable show next February, while also giving buyers a private preview of the collection several months earlier, following the traditional fashion week schedule.
Instead of hosting a catwalk show at London Fashion Week in September, the British luxury fashion brand will skip a season but will hold private previews of its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in London and Paris, it announced on Friday. The collection will then be fully unveiled during London Fashion Week in February 2018 to offer an immediately shoppable, real-time global consumer experience.
Mulberry is still working through its turnaround plan after some tough periods, with creative chief Johnny Coca tasked with sparking a major revival in the brand's fortunes. In its last half-year results, announced in December, it reported a loss, although it said total sales, comparable sales and e-sales all rose strongly. It also said that new bag designs had generated extra interest in the brand and the company must be hoping that the instant availability of future collections adds to the momentum.
“Mulberry has always been focused on offering a real and accessible lifestyle. The shift announced today enables us to continue to drive engagement and increase our relevance to our customers. Our strong omnichannel, retail-led business ensures we are well placed to align our collection launches globally and support growing consumer demand for immediacy,” said Thierry Andretta, CEO.
Mulberry's strategy change comes as the see now, buy now movement continues ot shake up the designer brand segment and sees the label taking an approach already tested by leading brands including Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger. But while Burberry has been upbeat about the format, labels like Tom Ford and Thakoon have decided to abandon it as "the store shipping schedule doesn’t align with the fashion show schedule".
Designers continue to experiment with schedules outside of a straight switch to see now, buy now, with Jason Wu saying only this week that he would combine his pre-collectiosn and mainline shows into one in fture.
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, said the industry is going through a period of change, and highlighted Mulberry’s effort to put customers front and centre of its strategy.
The company is also increasing its operations in Asia with the creation of local division in partnership with Challice Limited.
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