The benefits of this tactic are twofold. For one, it could eventually bring a larger chunk of manufacturing back to the U.S., as designers wouldn't have time for overseas deliveries. For another, it enables Minkoff to get a more up-to-the-minute read on weather trends, consumer preferences and popular colors or fabrics, and design into these factors.
This season, for example, the sudden drop in temperatures caused Rebecca Minkoff to design an oversize leather jacket in pale lavender, which "speaks to spring but keeps you warm." Because of these more informed decisions, which have been key to the success of fast-fashion retailers such as Zara, Uri Minkoff said the brand's capsule collection resulted in a 10 percent lift in sales to wholesale partners this season.
Along with the rest of the collection, these capsule items will be available for purchase immediately following the designer's show on Saturday (because spring deliveries come in three waves, not every look will be available to take home right away; those that aren't will be available for preorder).
To be sure, there are still plenty of challenges ahead in overhauling the fashion calendar. Quan said the shift must be adopted broadly, and not by just one or two brands. Not only that, many will require a complete overhaul of their supply chain, so they, too, can produce items closer to need. What's more, because fast-fashion retailers can replicate looks so quickly — sometimes in as little as two weeks — they will still be able to pull looks from the runway and sell them for hundreds or thousands of dollars cheaper, Quan said.
Despite these challenges, Uri Minkoff said he's pleased with how quickly the conversation surrounding Fashion Week has ramped up, and the potential that they will play such a key role in overhauling an outdated system.
"If we can help stimulate full-price consumer retail, then we've really done well," he said.