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Fast Fashion & Smart Phones :: The Decay of the Traditional Fashion Week

Fast Fashion & Smart Phones :: The Decay of the Traditional Fashion Week

“Social media is the laxative of the fashion system.” These words, stated by Scott Galloway (founder of digital consultancy L2) in The New York Times piece “How Smartphones Are Killing Off the Fashion Show,” ring truer now more than ever. “It makes everyone digest everything much faster: trends, product discovery.”

We live in a world now dominated by screens. Our phones are the first things we check in the morning—emails, Instagram, Twitter—and the last thing we stare at at night, killing our eyes and our sense of discovery. It has affected the ways we communicate, the ways we learn, and the way we feel about trends, music, and clothing. And everyone feels it—especially the fashion industry. The Internet has taken the industry and flipped it on its head; now, everyone must find ways to navigate this new space and time, where trends can become cold days after beginning.

Photo by Oliver McAvoy via

Kanye West is a figure who represents how social media is disrupting fashion, especially with his show yesterday that took over the Twitter-sphere—a show more about the music than the clothing. Things are changing.

“Everyone drank the Kool-Aid for too long, but it’s just not working anymore,” designer Diane von Fürstenberg told the article’s writer Vanessa Friedman. “We are in a moment of complete confusion between what was and what will be. Everyone has to learn new rules.” Sarah Rutson, VP for global buying at Net-a-Porter, has similar sentiments: “Our psyche has changed. It is all about immediacy.”

And it’s not just high fashion. Bobby expressed the same views in his Hypebeast column back in December.

“There are a myriad of reasons why streetwear’s numbers are declining: […]
– The Internet, for lowering the barrier to entry.
– The Internet, for cannibalizing culture through hyper-accelerated trends.
– The Internet, where you can learn it, not earn it: Consumers adorn themselves with interests. This, to seem interesting vs. actually being interested.”

Check out the article on The New York Times, “How Smartphones Are Killing Off the Fashion Show” for more insight on how fashion week is changing around the world and the ways designers are adapting their products to fit into this new, (even more so) fast-paced environment.

Words by Kat Thompson

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