Change is afoot. Designers, brands and retailers have been trying to figure a way to recalibrate Fashion Week in the age of digital media since before I arrived in New York to work in the industry five years ago, and brands are finally starting to put their money where their mouths are in hopes of alchemizing the press circus around fashion shows into real, tangible sales.

It wasn’t all that long ago that NYFW was still a true trade show; runway shows were for buyers and editors, and consumers had to be crafty to get information before brands intended their collections to be seen by the broader public. That system has completely broken down now, of course, and brand including Coach, Proenza Schouler and Burberry (and far beyond) have decided to experiment with making portions of their new collections available to consumers immediately upon runway debut. After all, why waste the buzz on clothes that won’t be available for six months?

At best, though, the move is a first step, and it seems to be a good way to test just how much actual shoppers are paying attention to fashion week, versus how much fashion journalist and industry watchers (who think of ourselves as real shoppers, but really aren’t) are assuming our experience and perception of Fashion Week is universal. Moda Operandi, for example, caters to an elite clientele who follows the shows and wants its orders as soon as the opportunity is available; it will be interesting to see if those super-engaged consumers exist at all price tiers in numbers large enough to make immediate orders a worthwhile venture.

That’s where we want to hear from you, of course. Have you ever jumped at the chance to order something straight off the runway, and if not, can you think of anything that would make you do it? Would you be more enticed by a piece available for immediate delivery, or are you satisfied with the opportunity to get first dibs on a limited-run product that will ship to you in a few months? Does any of this feel relevant to you as a shopper, or are you fine with things how you are?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Sandy

    I think the opportunity to get your hands on something walking down the runway, as it walks down the runway, is definitely of interest. I would definitely buy clothing (timeless pieces) or shoes, not sure I would purchase a bag as I must wait and make sure an investment of that magnitude is proven, will stand the test of time.

  • Smithy

    I can’t imagine ever being such an early adapter that there would be something I had to have so badly that I would order off the runway. As I get older and reflect on how many designer bags I’ve purchased and re-sold on eBay, I realize that basic black and timeless design are more important than any fad coming down the runway.

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  • pinkngreenpurse

    Yes, I got the Coach Saddlebags right after the Spring Runway show……I would’ve gotten the Rouge bag this time but wasn’t quick enough……

    • Good news! The Rogues are in stock now :)

  • Sparky

    No. Never. I’m in charge of my spending, not the designer. I’ll wait until all options are laid before me. Then I’ll decide.

  • Violet

    Sounds like another way to tempt the rich impulse buyers out there! Why not? Kudos to those with tons of cash and little patience. I, however, have always been on a budget so I usually take months, if not years, to finally buy an expensive bag. Making designs ready to buy straight of the runway will most likely not change my habit of sleeping on it and thinking long and hard before I buy.

  • Sara

    Maybe if I was super rich and famous and didn’t have to look at the price tag and weigh up if it’s a practical buy or not.

  • lavinia

    In a world where everything has been accelerated why not follow this new trend? Why not? This seems to me a very good strategy because it will increase the impulse buying, it produces an immediate profit, it gives you the idea of which one or many of your products are going to became the “it” one. On the other side the customer can be enthusiast to come home and be the one to wear it…I only see advantages…

  • anon

    No, I don’t really like the idea of being a guinea pig for a bag. I want to wait a while and hear from others how the bag is. Things like quality, longevity, usefulness, etc. concern me. I also like to wait it out because sometimes I really want something and then a couple of months later I don’t. That happens to other people too, right? Lol.

  • Vicky

    It has to be reasonably priced and I really really want it so bad and that the certainty of getting it at the regular time must be limited and unsure enough to make me jump to get it right away.

  • Jess

    There is a Proenza Schouler hand bag I saw on the runway on this very website that I have been pining for… I am yet to see it anywhere. Still looking. When I enquired with PB you thought it would be another six months before it hit the stores :( But that’s the first time that’s happened to me and something tells me this bag will probably cost about $3,000 if not more!!