How to master the fashion calendar: Buy, Sell and Delivery dates.
The delivery cycles for fashion manufacturers and retailers, like so many time-hallowed traditions, are frankly less than straightforward.
The Fashion Calendar and its Buy, Sell and Delivery dates differ among each sector of the market, and within them as well; retailers and designers often have their own particular calendar that deviates from the industry standard.
Typically, the women's wear market will feature four to six seasons in a year. In order to master the fashion calendar, you will need to know how those seasons break down:
Spring I Selling dates: August through October Delivery: Late January through March
Spring II/Summer Selling dates: October through January Delivery: Late March through May Fall I/Transition Selling dates: End of January through March Delivery: Mid-July through August Fall II Selling dates: March through April Delivery: End of September Holiday Selling dates: May through June Delivery: Mid-October Resort/Cruise Selling dates: June through August Delivery: End of November through mid-January
Menswear and Children's Market:
Traditionally, the menswear market has been defined by only two seasons. However, with an increasing number of versatile, innovative menswear designers in today's market, some manufacturers are now featuring seasonal lines that more closely parallel women's fashion. The two most common seasons for the menswear market are July through August for the purchase of Spring/Summer lines, and January through February for Fall collections. The children's market, on the other hand, is divided into three seasons: spring/summer, back-to-school, and holiday.
The accessories market is -- you guessed it -- different again. The calendar for accessories looks more similar to women's wear: Spring Showroom samples available: November In stores: February Spring II/Summer Showroom samples available: January In stores: April Fall I/Transition Showroom samples available: March
In stores: June Fall/Holiday Preview Showroom samples available: May In stores: August Holiday Showroom samples available: August In stores: November
Although this is the way most designers and retailers operate today, the fashion calendar may be on the cusp of change. In March 2016, the Council of Fashion Designers in America conducted a study with the Boston Consultancy Group. The results were clear: it's high time that the fashion calendar got an overhaul. Fashion industry experts have long been calling for shorter delivery cycles and an increased availability of in-season merchandise. Some retailers have already switched to offering new products on a rolling basis, rather than products associated with a particular season. It's important to be familiar with the traditional fashion calendar - even if it may soon be a relic of the past.