After French fashion executives, including Dior’s chief executive officer Sidney Toledano, came together to swear off the See Now-Buy Now movement, which has become a growing trend among high fashion brands, Louis Vuitton has introduced the option to purchase a number of bags straight from its Resort 2017 runway. The Paris-based house, which descended upon Rio this past weekend, three months ahead of the summer’s Olympic games, has given consumers the opportunity to get their hands on seven runway bags, including Resort 2017-specific variations on its Steamer, MM, and Petite Malle bags just hours after its runway show.
The bags, which range in price from $3,750 (for the Twist PM bag) to $5,750 (for the Epi leather Petite Malle bag), will be available for pick up in Louis Vuitton stores or for delivery beginning on June 1st. In this way, Louis Vuitton joins the likes of Alexander Wang, Burberry, Proenza Schouler, Tom Ford, Vetements, Thakoon, and Balmain, among others, which have announced that they will begin offering consumers the opportunity to purchase runway wares shortly after they hit the runway. Prada, Moschino and Versace have offered See Now-Buy Now capsule collections on the heels of runway shows in the past.
See Now-Buy Now is one of the latest trends to sweep the fashion industry in a larger “disruption” movement aimed at better meeting the needs of the modern day consumer. “This new consumer doesn’t enjoy shopping the way the older generation did,” says Roseanne Morrison, fashion director for trend intelligence firm Doneger Group. “It’s on their time and on their terms.”
And according to industry journalists, it was only a matter of time before the fashion division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, caught on. As Kim Bhasin wrote from Bloomberg earlier this year: “For [See Now-Buy Now] to really work, LVMH and its platoon of meganames, including Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, have to dress the part. And overhauling back-end logistics, although easier with nimbler supply chains, requires more than the flick of a switch. The company’s CEO, Bernard Arnault, the de facto emperor of luxury goods, has yet to commit to doing so, though one of his brands, Loewe, did in 2014.”
Now, with a brand like Louis Vuitton – the world’s biggest luxury brand – taking part, maybe the new purchasing schedule will become the go-to. It is worth noting that Kering, which owns Balenciaga, Gucci, and Saint Laurent and is LVMH’s closest rival, is dragging its feet. Chief Executive Officer François-Henri Pinault said the sped-up calendar “negates the dream” of luxury. It will be interesting to see if they cave to peer pressure and whether Louis Vuitton’s sibling brands, such as Givenchy and Celine, and its cousin, Dior, will follow suit.