If you don’t like this whole current-season, see-now, buy-now concept, blame Rebecca Minkoff. I’m kidding, of course, but Ms. Minkoff was one of the first big-name designers to forego a show back in February so she could show current season now. Everyone else jumped on the bandwagon later. Putting herself in the limelight like that comes with some risks, not only for her own label, but for everyone else who followed after her.
So, everyone was watching when her show hit the streets of New York today. The weather certainly wasn’t helping any. Warm temperatures and high humidity had guests in the stands waving anything they could to create a breeze. Not exactly the best conditions for showing heavy fall and winter clothing. Still, if the heat was bothering the models they didn’t seem to show it. They even managed to walk along the uneven surface of the brick street without any casualties.
The clothes themselves seem ready-made for the SoHo district in which the show took place. Scarf dresses under leather jackets, small print designs, graphic t-shirts, striped turtlenecks and ribbed sweaters looked right at home as they made their way down the street. Ms. Minkoff has a good sense of what her customer likes and was playing right to them with this collection. One could tell with the crowd’s response, which seemed a lot more vocal since they were outside.
Silhouettes were relatively restrained. This was a short collection of only 28 looks. As a result, Ms. Minkoff limited her choices to what she knew was most likely to sell. Most hems are just above the knee. Most necklines stay pretty safe. If there is a downside to the see-now, buy-now concept, this might be it. There’s more risk in being very creative. The temptation is to stick with what you already know works. While that approach is probably best for this season, it can’t sustain a designer over the long-term. New York fashion hasn’t been all that creative the past few years anyway. No one wants to see that creativity move any slower.
For Rebecca Minkoff, switching to current season seems to have worked. Leading the way when others are hesitant hasn’t been a bad PR move, either. There’s been no small amount of attention on Minkoff since she made the announcement last year. That attention has been a good thing for her this week, though, and seeing all the visible, and vocal, excitement for her line is good for the whole industry. Seeing so many shows outside hasn’t hurt either.
Can all this positive attention continue? We hope so. And who knows, perhaps all of New York may move to this current-season schedule. If they do, we’ll have Rebecca Minkoff to thank.