Against fast-fashion: a seasonal guide
to what you can sell
We are against fast fashion and our curations policy emphasizes quality and sustainability. However, buyers buy for the seasons based on what their customers want to wear.
SSAW stands for Spring Summer Autumn Winter and is the classic euphemism for the way the fashion industry has done business for centuries. According to our business model, samples are produced for each collection about a year before the pieces will be available in retail stores.
For AW21, forward B2B wholesale orders will be taken for three to six months depending on how much time a brand needs to produce these items. Brands can also choose if they want to continue selling SS21 subject to their production timescales and stock levels. The two main seasons are supported with two other seasonal collections, the Resort or Cruise collections that are sold to the public for luxury winter-sun: and the Pre Fall collections. This is the sensible and sustainable way to grow a fashion brand as it prevents overstocking, maximises sales and reduces risks to a minimum.
Here is a brief summary of seasonal activity.
Spring Summer 2021
For AW20 we saw many late orders and we expect SS21 to be the same. This is because many buyers are waiting to see the status of the Covid-19 pandemic before confirming a large portion of their budget as it was this time in 2020 when the pandemic started. However, there is already a sense of optimism amongst buyers caused by the development of a vaccine, which will be available in the first two or three months of 2021.
Order from Stock
Although this is the time when products are being delivered, there are usually opportunities, where a retailer has been let down by another brand or changed their forecasts. This can be an opportunistic time for emerging brands to take surprise orders.
Pre Fall 21
Pre Fall 2021
Having a Pre-Fall collection is a very effective way of lengthening the Autumn Winter season.
Many pre-fall orders for 2020 were late and this turned out to be a significant opportunity. If the vaccine takes time to be rolled-out then pre-fall could be the season to aim for big sales.
Order from Stock
We are very reluctant to advise brands to carry stock in any circumstances, but any stock that is not sold pre-fall can be sold in as an AW21 collection.
Autumn Winter 2021
This is the busiest time of the year for marketing and selling AW21. Most of the major trade shows for AW21 used to take place in these three months. However, it is now necessary to approach buyers directly and to case the prospecting net wiser than ever before. SSAW.io socialise in doing both.
Many Autumn Winter orders for 2020 were late and this turned out to be a significant opportunity, but this should not be relied on and should only ever be a backup option if the expected levels of sales are not achieved in January, February and March.
Although this is when products are being delivered, there are usually opportunities where a retailer has been let down by another brand or changed their forecasts.
Many fashion brands mistakenly believe that the sales cycle starts with showing products to the buyer at a trade show, whereas this is a very risky way of doing business and leaves a lot depending on chance meetings! A better approach is to profile and qualify the buyers that a brand want to meet, and book appointments in advance.
Meeting qualified buyers should not be the start of a sales cycle, but where deals are closed and orders placed.
Having orders from retailers in a timely fashion makes scheduling production a relaxed process. It also gives a brand big savings, as good deals are more likely to be negotiated with factories or ateliers, and raw materials can be bought in bulk, significantly lowering costs.
The best retailers will start the season as early as possible and extend it for as long as possible. These are the retailers that a brand should be aiming to work with as they offer the greatest sales potential.
Generally this is the time for products to be delivered to the retailers. However, retailers typically place re-orders at this time if products are selling well, or make new orders where they are let down by other brands.
SSAW.io specialise in the fashion industry, working with a large community of brands, qualified business buyers, agents and distributors.
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