Runway reform: How the traditional fashion model is changing

Before the days of live-streaming and social media, the world of high fashion felt mysterious and inaccessible. Runway shows were as closed as film sets, and it was only through magazine editorials and red carpets that the general public knew what to expect in stores in the coming months.


But now it looks like the gap between the runway and the consumer is getting smaller. Last week, BurberryChief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey shook the industry when he abandoned the traditional show model, showing both men's and womenswear, a portion of which was available for order after the show, as opposed to six months later.

    But what startled most was Bailey's pre-show announcement that his next collection, to be shown in September, will all be available for purchase immediately after the show.

    According to Bailey, "see now, buy now" runway is a rational next step for Burberry, now that live-streaming (which the brand introduced in 2009), social media campaigns and ordering straight off the runway are so widespread.

    "I think it's frustrating for people to say you have to conform to the way the industry works, even though we're showing it to the public in a very different way [through live-streaming]," Bailey told CNN.

    Further emphasizing his goal of immediate, international reach, the clothes themselves were suited for a variety of climates because, as Bailey put it, "In some parts of the world right now it's boiling hot, and in other parts of the world it's freezing cold, so it feels a bit odd to be doing a collection that's only for one region."