A spokesman for the council said the organization could not comment on the study until the results are released in the next few weeks.
Sonia Lapinsky, a director in AlixPartners' retail practice, said what's lacking from the current conversation is that the winners won't be the ones who simply change their show dates. Instead, it will be the ones who completely overhaul their supply chains to design and develop their collections much closer to season, so they can look at social media and other cues to create products that consumers want.
What's more, by improving their ability to see and interpret data regarding what's selling, they can ship greater quantities of these popular products and drive incremental sales.
"That's the big shift that they're not consistently talking about yet," Lapinsky said. "Unless they do, we're not really going to see the impact that they hope to get."
But that's much easier said than done. In addition to overhauling the entire runway calendar, Appel said designers would likely have to hold meetings with buyers ahead of these consumer-facing shows, to get an indication of what looks the department stores want to purchase for their sales floors.
What's more, Quan said moving the show calendar wouldn't mitigate the ability for fast-fashion retailers to duplicate high-fashion designs.
Because Zara designs, produces and sells its own product, which is essentially a stripped-down version of what goes down the runway, it can get inventory on the floor in two to four weeks, Quan said. But the appeal of luxury goods, which take about 4½ months from the runway to selling floor, is built around handcrafted items with all the bells and whistles — meaning it's product that can't be rushed.
"[Luxury designers] were never built this way," Quan said. "They were built for complexity. They were built for beauty. They were built for all of the finer things that take time."