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What is the timeline of the fashion cycle?

Jun 18, 2017

Unmasking the fashion industry!

Ever wonder what happens during each month of the year in the Fashion Industry? You may see posts surrounding Fashion Month which occurs twice a year, but what about the rest of the time? For example, pre market (Pre-Fall and Pre-Spring) takes place before the February/September Fashion Month kickoff. Below you’ll gain a better sense of the eb and flow throughout the year.

  • January
    • Happy New Year! After everyone settles in from the Holiday season, Fall Market is in full swing. Therefore, it’s prepping for upcoming appointments, going to market, selecting the pieces you want to buy, requesting exclusive pieces/advertising looks, writing, reviewing & submitting orders, getting all necessary web assets in order for the styles to post online, scheduling web-pre shoots, organizing photos from market and entering orders into the system that have upcoming start ship dates
  • February
    • Fashion Month begins with NYFW around Valentine’s Day, and therefore, the majority of your time is spent in Fall Market. After NYFW ends, it’s on to London then Milan and lastly, Paris. During Fashion Month, buyers attend fashion shows to get a sense of what the designer is offering, which looks they liked, etc. Soon after the show, the market appointment takes place. The buying team is able to see the clothes from the show in person. There are more clothes available to select in the showroom than were featured at the show. Also, some of the pieces from the show are cancelled and won’t be produced. It’s important to feature looks from the runway, because customers come into the store asking for those styles.
  • March
    • A month to tie up all orders, confirm advertising looks & vendor contribution (co-op) to the advertisements and work on projecting how each vendor will end the season (EOS) in terms of sales. March marks the end of Fashion Month. Therefore, some runway shows and market appointments will happen during this month as well.
  • April
    • If you’re a retailer, this could be a month to conduct store visits, in order to have an open conversation with store managers, buyers and executives taking hindsight from the past season, and applying it to future buys. It’s time to set up reporting for Fall because these goods will start arriving during this month.
  • May
    • Look back over the past season to project how the next year’s season will perform (i.e. when Spring 2017 ends, plan for Spring 2018) during Pre Strategy & Strategy meetings. This month marks the beginning of Pre-Spring (PS) market. Spring goods usually go on markdown around the end of May.
  • June
    • Summer Fridays begin! During June, you are immersed in NYC Pre-Spring Market. The Spring goods will continue to be on markdown, and will most likely get further marked down in this month. It’s time to write & confirm PS orders. The end of June is when Resort/Holiday/PS market is held in Paris. Some of the team will be traveling there for shows & appointments.
  • July
    • The Spring goods that have been on markdown will be sent to the outlets during this month, and only full price (FP) goods will be featured in store and online. July is a month to tie up all PS orders and prep for the season ahead.
  • August
    • Spring Main market slowly begins this month. Continue organizing everything for the upcoming Main Market and wrapping up anything from PS Market.
  • September
    • After Labor Day, the madness begins. NYFW starts, and Spring Main Market appointments are held between fashion shows. This kicks off Fashion Month. The Fashion Industry starts in NY (NYFW) heads to London (LFW) then Milan (MFW), and finally, Paris (PFW). It can be quite hectic going from show to appointment to presentation. Designers have after-parties to celebrate all of their hard work. Fashion Month is a month of little sleep and LOTS of work. Most importantly, buyers have to find time to write the orders and submit them by their deadlines. It’s necessary to be disciplined and figure out the right balance of the fun & glamorous parties and getting enough sleep/having energy to do it all again the next day.
  • October
    • Fashion Month ends at the beginning of October. The teams are in Paris attending the last shows & market appointments. Once PFW ends, the team is back in the office. It’s time to write and finalize all orders, organize photos from market, pick exclusive pieces/advertising looks, confirm advertising co-op and project EOS for Fall. This could be a time for everyone to get together and conduct a store walk through. It’s important to ensure that everything is posted online in a timely manner, and also make sure all styles that were pre-shot (have the image but the inventory hasn’t arrived yet) are posted. By this month, all PS orders should be entered into the system, and it’s time to set up the Spring reporting because they start delivering this month.
  • November
    • This month can continue finishing up with store walk throughs. Pre Strategy & Strategy meetings are held taking insight from the Fall season that just ended to plan for next year’s Fall. Pre-Fall appointments will begin. Holiday windows will be unveiled. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • December
    • Pre-Fall market continues. Happy Holidays!

Delia Folk




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