Since the birth of Paris Fashion Week in 1910, two seasons a year have become the default mode of operation of the fashion industry. Different from the spring and summer series and autumn and winter series which are released in the form of grand fashion shows, the pre-collection (mid-season series) is mostly launched in the form of lookbook. Among them, the early spring vacation series (also known as resort or cruise series) are released in May every year. The pre-fall series is usually in December to fill the gap between spring summer and autumn winter.
The history of the mid-season series can be traced back to the 1920s. In the early spring, the rich are used to going to warm places for vacation. At this time, most of the latest spring clothes have not yet been launched. The major clothing giants have discovered the business opportunities and launched early spring clothing sales to make up for the short period of clothing, cleverly Connect two important fashion seasons.
Today, the mid-season series have become more commercial: both early spring and early autumn series have blurred the concept of the season and are more suitable for long-term sales; the mid-season series pay more attention to the wearability and directly target the consumers. wallet. With the proliferation of Western resort collections, local Chinese fashion brands that are gradually synchronizing with the world have also begun to explore more possibilities for mid-season collections. Thanks to the good control of the epidemic in China, the consumer confidence index remains optimistic. Ontimeshow, Tube showroom, Dadashow, Shitang, Ryodan showroom, Alter showroom and other local exhibitions and ordering platforms have joined the queue for the supplementary season that is forming a considerable scale in the mid-season.
2021 Winter Fashion Clothing Exhibition
Founded in 2014, Ontimeshow has experienced the vigorous development of China's fashion industry through the baptism of 14 seasons. Today, the professional audience of Ontimeshow has grown from more than 300 in the early days of its business to more than 20,000, and it has accumulated more than 11,000 professional buyers.
Ontimeshow founder Gu Yeli said that the Ontimeshow Resort's early spring exhibition, which debuted with the concept of new venue, new time, new products in this year, is an important breakthrough for Ontimeshow to move towards the four seasons exhibition. In the fast-paced Internet era, people have continuous expectations for fresh designs. Adding transitional season clothing displays between the traditional two seasons will not only create more exposure opportunities for the brand, but also provide excellent commercial income supplement.
Gu Yeli says that more than 2,350 buyers visited the display of 32 brands, and 50% of the brands sold vacation series. The showroom under Ontimeshow's four-day early spring order fair invited 120 groups of buyers, and finally 240 orders were made, the order rate even surpassed the autumn and winter series.
Ontimeshow 21 Early Spring Order Fair
The Tube showroom, which focuses on local designer brands in China, has also begun to organize early spring and early autumn series ordering fairs for individual brands. Recently, Chinese designer brands that have participated in early spring ordering include Ming Ma and STAFFONLY.
Zemira, the founder of Tube showroom, said that thanks to the rapid growth of retail outlets, buyers are also exploring the product composition and purchasing plan that suits their stores and consumers. In recent years, judging from the procurement performance of the Tube showroom and the media exposure, Chinese consumers have begun to consciously purchase young local designer brands, which has also enabled some well-prepared brands to achieve commercial success. Take Calvin Luo as an example, from 2020 to 2021, omni-channel revenue can reach hundreds of millions. In horizontal comparison, it may be of a similar magnitude to French designer brand Jacquemus.
Huaichin, sales and brand manager of Ryodan showroom, expressed his views on the reasons for the rapid development of the Mid-Season series in China. Due to the epidemic, many buyers were unable to place orders abroad, and more purchase budgets were left to local showrooms and brands. Correspondingly, Chinese consumers cannot travel overseas to shop, and they keep their consumption at home. Huaichin said that for domestic buyers and retailers, the early spring series is actually just a replenishment relative to the autumn and winter series. Even if there is no early spring series, buyers and stores will continue to replenish the autumn and winter series to meet the high domestic demand. The emergence of the early spring and early autumn series is the systematic specification and unification of the replenishment requirements for the main series of spring, summer and autumn and winter. Judging from the feedback from Ryodan showroom PS22 and PF21, the order scale is almost the same as that of the main series. The Chinese fashion market may be ready to place orders throughout the year.
Also in the supplementary season order fair, there was a good harvest from the Shitang showroom, which held the second winter exhibition. It opened the "Winter+" exhibition for the first time last year. At that time, when the national epidemic had just been relieved and the traditional fashion week ordering meeting had not been successfully carried out, Shitang’s "Winter+" model welcomed many brands and designers who participated in the exhibition at that time. There was a big outbreak.
Based on the success of last year's winter exhibition, this year’s Winter Show received 6,422 visitors, a year-on-year increase of nearly 75%, and up to 54% of the exhibited brands participated for the first time; from the order results, ACFN, Fenggy Other designer brands have received tens of millions of orders. Popular trend designer brands such as 13De Marzo have on-site orders exceeding 30 million yuan. From this, it can be seen that the value of Shitang Winter Exhibition is not only a supplementary order, it also strengthens the in-depth communication between the brand and the buyer through a more precise audience composition.
Not all brands are suitable for a ride of more than one season. An independent designer who has just been founded less than two years ago said that the start-up brand is small in scale and can successfully complete the traditional release of two seasons a year. It's not easy, so we won't consider the high-demand vacation series.
Zhang Jie, the person in charge of the MODE exhibition at Shanghai Fashion Week, communicated with many buyers and brand owners, and learned that the current situation is that many brands, especially small and medium-sized design brands, are mainly making some styles of hot-selling products during the main order season. Supplements, as well as some capsule series according to the market gap, the pressure on R&D and production is not too big. This is not the same as the four seasons orders made by overseas systems and large-scale brands. If the four seasons orders are truly achieved, the brand must meet higher requirements in fabric procurement, product design and supply chain collaboration. It cannot be achieved overnight, especially for growth. It is a big test for the type of brand.
Tube showroom added that many brands in the Tube ecosystem are at different stages of development, and mature brands that take the lead are more experienced and proactive. Ryodan showroom also expressed a similar view: most of the overseas brands that they represent have not yet adapted to the sudden high demand in the country, and basically still maintain the habit of two seasons a year, or supplement them with online orders. The brands that set out early to prepare for the early autumn and early spring series often have the characteristics of high brand reputation, mature design styles, and a certain overseas market share.
Ryodan showroom by Seiya Nakamura 2.24 INC
STAFFONLY, a fashion brand that has been established for five and a half years, has ushered in its first early spring order fair this year. Zhou Shimo, one of the brand managers, said that the early spring/early autumn series just appeared in the main season, and when they appeared in front of customers, it was also the moment when everyone's desire to buy was high and new designs and images were needed. STAFFONLY's early spring series is more like the forward-looking part of the main series, sharing the theme and inspiration version with the main series, but when considering the season and product attributes, it will pay more attention to consumers' holiday wear preferences.
It is understood that those who come to participate in STAFFONLY's early spring/early fall orders are often buyers who have had stable cooperation in the main season series. Due to the early spring order fair in Shanghai, it is easier for buyers in Shanghai and surrounding cities to arrange the itinerary to participate on-site. STAFFONLY will also take the initiative to provide supplementary materials such as videos and pictures to buyers who cannot be present. The early spring order will not only harvest orders, but more importantly, get feedback from buyers before the big season, which is crucial to the design process of the next main series.
Ryodan showroom by Seiya Nakamura 2.24 INC
Gu Yeli dialectically analyzed the importance of ordering "more than one season" from both the brand side and the buyer side: From the brand side, the frequency of exhibitions throughout the year helps brands share the pressure on development and stimulates Brand innovation. Encourage brands to try to broaden their categories or different styles while maintaining their design genes, which will help the brand's structural growth; from the perspective of buyers, the rhythm of the exhibition throughout the year is still waiting to see during the traditional two-season main exhibition. Or planning the transformation of the channel, it is an excellent opportunity to replenish goods.
In other words, small-band ordering helps reduce risks and avoid cash flow backlogs. Even when the total purchase budget remains unchanged, it can still help them balance the capital and product structure. Especially for some buyers who will participate in overseas ordering, they will follow the rhythm of European fashion in the four seasons of the week. Under the epidemic situation, it is very necessary for the domestic order fair to appear in early spring and early autumn series.
While many brands are struggling to follow the pace of the "four seasons of the year", some brands are already focusing on developing mid-summer and mid-winter series, which means that brands can do six seasons a year. Obviously, with the rise of the trend of show, see, buy, and wear,-the 6-month empty window period is too long, and more and more brands no longer regard fashion releases as forecast, but a vehicle that can be used for sales conversion. Whether it is more and more popular multi-season releases, flash sales everywhere, or a year-round online ordering that breaks the physical space, the real concern of the brand is how to sell products quickly.
HaiZhen Wang 2021 Early Spring Series
As for the trend of ordering throughout the year, as Zhang Jie, the person in charge of the MODE exhibition in Shanghai Fashion Week, stated, the domestic consumer market is currently undergoing a period of rapid change, and the development path of the brand is also tending to be diversified. An effective ecosystem will improve the business environment and cultivate the soil for development.