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 SS20, forward B2B wholesale orders will be taken for approximately six months until just before Christmas, when they are put into production for delivery from February onwards. Brands can then choose if they want to continue selling SS20 subject to their production timescales and stock levels, or they can start taking forward B2B wholesale orders for AW20. 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 2020
Successfully selling to a new store depends on making contact with the buyers before the buying season starts, so that meetings can be booked in advance and not left to chance. For both emerging and developing brands this is a competitive process and getting onto a buyer’s radar and making a positive impact as early as possible is vital. The best time to start marketing for Spring Summer 2020 is in July or August 2019.
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 buyers from September 2019 onwards 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 for Spring Summer 2020.
Resort or Cruise collections – after the French collection croisière – are also referred to holiday or travel collections.
They are generally warm weather collections that hit the shops in November, after the launch of Autumn Winter collections, and tend to be targeted at the higher priced luxury end of the market as the perception is that these customers can afford winter sunshine holidays.
SSAW.io is particularly looking for luxury collections that can be sold for the Resort 2019/20 season.
Resort collections are becoming the new Spring Summer, extending the market for Spring/Summer collections through the winter months. This is due to an increasing number of people taking winter-sun holidays, and the globalisation of the fashion industry where countries in the southern hemisphere are selling Spring/Summer collections, while Europe, the USA and Canada are wearing Autumn/Winter.
Order from Stock
Many resort retailers carry low stock, so for companies with great logistics there is a real opportunity to get into new retailers towards the end of the Resort Season, creating firm foundations for increased orders for the following season.
Autumn Winter 2019/2020
Christmas is the most important buying season of the year with more than 60% of consumer spending happening in the three months before.
Most people will tell you it is too late to get orders for AW19, and in many cases they are correct. But if you have stock or if you have short production timescales and great logistics then this may not be the answer you have to accept.
If this is the case then SSAW.io can advise you on the best way to get your products in selected stores before the all important Christmas season.
Order from Stock
Because the trading opportunities before Christmas are so significant no retailer wants to run out of stock. Where the usual suppliers cannot fulfil reorders there is a natural opportunity to open new wholesale accounts.
Pre Fall 2019
Order from Stock
At this stage in the fashion calendar, Pre Fall collections are treated the same way as AW19/20.
Spring Summer 2019
Order from Stock
The combination of internet and extremely efficient communications has revolutionised the supply chain. Some bricks-and-mortar retailers only hold the stock they need for the next few weeks, and some online retailers will hold no stock at all and simply pass the order to their supplier for direct fulfilment, so it is now possible to take B2B orders for SS19 in July and August. However, in order to be able to do this a brand must carry stock and have very efficient logistics.