Fashion Week is dying. This is a global trend that is also evident in Ukraine: in 2018, Kiev Fashion Days disappeared, and the scale of Ukrainian Fashion Week is decreasing every year. We’re keeping up with the world.
The concept of “Fashion Week” is relatively simple: designers present collections nine months before the season. Buyers buy their favorite collections and sell them in stores, and journalists describe what they saw “in all its glory” – so that consumers who are hungry for new products lick their lips, rush to stores and buy, buy, buy. Nine months is a well-established time limit for replicating collections and logistics. But this was the case in the “old world” – before the internet era.
In Ukraine, Fashion Week began in 1997 as an event that gathers fashionistas at one time and in one place, providing designers with an auditorium, lighting, sound and security. There were few designers, even fewer buyers and fashion journalists, but there was a buyer-rich after the Bandit nineties, exhausted by the Soviet deficit, without any special claims to taste and style – someone who wanted “designer” and was hungry for consumer patriotism.
The layer of buyers in Ukraine was almost superfluous – things were easily given away from the catwalk, for an additional payment, the designers even promised not to sew such a thing to anyone else.
Without buyers and mass replication, the fashion age gradually turned into a bloated and outdated Vanity Fair – a parade of narcissism that developed outside the industry. Since 1998, we have been talking about the “Ukrainian fashion industry” as “in the process of formation”. It’s still there.
The industry is not growing, but the “parade of narcissism” is also on the decline – the “Old guests of the show” have aged and look tragic and pathetic.
If everything is so sad, then is it necessary that the Fashion Week in Ukraine continues to exist? For whom (what) is it now? Does organizing Fashion Week match the way people buy clothes today?
It is not difficult to imagine that outside of shows and fashion glosses, there is a different, more real and more relevant world. The internet has changed the perception of not only fashion, but also society, changed self-perception.
The fashion system of seasons and full seasonal collections is a serious financial burden for the designer. In addition to production costs (on average, you need to submit 35 looks), you need to pay for participation in the fashion week (and this is tens of thousands), as well as the work of models, stylists, makeup artists, photographers.In return, you get to content, which freshness and relevance fall hourly – photos and videos, some coverage in the press (which in Ukraine, for the most part, promotes only “their own”).
This whole system can be circumvented by investing money gradually and directly, periodically creating information guides around individual goods (looks). You don’t need to be present at Fashion Week – you pay for articles in Targeted Media, attract suitable opinion leaders, come up with promotions, collaborate with artists, and so on. In Ukraine, there are many examples of brands that entered the international market without showing any collection at Ukrainian Fashion Week (the most famous Vita Kin). Many “permanent and unchanging” participants miss seasons, or even completely leave the game (Podolyan, Gres, Zalevsky, Anisimov and not only them).
Of course, for” Dreamers in Rose-Colored Glasses”, Fashion Week is still an “Event”. Young designers dream of participating, hoping that after that “Grits from the sky” will fall on them. “Fashionistas” still take selfies against the background of banners, considering themselves cool. But does Fashion Week succeed in its main function – moving money from the pockets of customers to the wallets of designers?
In recent years, not so much designers (manufacturers of a fashion product) as Ukrainian Fashion Week (an intermediary between the manufacturer and the buyer) receive taxpayer support in the form of State injections. Can this be considered as an investment in the development of the industry? To answer this question, you need to know when large amounts of taxes will return to the state budget of Ukraine from the additional increase in the profits of the supported organization (return on investment).
Have you ever heard that spending public money in Ukraine is treated as an investment?
As for consumers, two global trends also prevent them from spending money on rags. The first “Bees vs honey” is ecological fashion. Most of the expositions of the latest Ukrainian Fashion Week are some kind of upzycling, recycling and “other second – hand”. For me, this is an assumption that re-stitching garbage reduces the overall blockage. The logic is there: instead of throwing out the trash right away, you will play with it and these amusements will save you from buying new junk. It’s fashionable, but it’s anti-fashion, the “death of fashion” as a constant update.
Read also: USING OF TRADITIONAL UKRAINIAN COSTUME ELEMENTS FOR CREATING MODERN FASHION COLLECTIONS