The fast fashion refers to the rapid production of clothing or marketing new fashion. A system that, since the 80s, is growing and already became a competitive lever for quantity fashion and acts as a business model; it can also generate a considerable revenues increase.
It is an important trend, which strategy is used to accelerate productive times of the linked industries for its maintenance on the market, following increasing the amount of collections. Thereby, it creates the conditions for runoff increasing production capacity of companies in the sector and consequently, for the maintenance of profit rates by minimizing settlements. While designers benefit from the grand strategy of communication and dissemination of fast fashion, stores gain in perception and new customers.
Zara, Benetton and H&M represent a movement of imported brands from Europe that joined the Fast Fashion.
The designer Karl Lagerfeld deliberated fast fashion for the network of H&M stores in 2004, within this great idea to improve a fast pace industry. Since then, companies of various market segments, of different sizes and in different parts of the world, joined this model. It can enumerate some of its features, which is time contraction design and production, increased the rate of goods flow by accelerating consumption, increasing the number of yearly collections and inventories, therefore changing the warehousing and distribution logics.
Flavio Rocha, the President of Riachuelo, brought this idea to Brazil, achieving a great result. It was at age of 36, during a course of business at Harvard in the United States, when F. Rocha discovered his purpose in life: to democratize fashion. Thanks to this insight, he returned to Brazil willing to transform Riachuelo, so far a popular clothing company focused on selling inexpensive clothes and with little connection to the fashion market, in a national fast-fashion only. This happened in the mid-1990s, a time that also marks the democratization of information driven by the advent of the internet. “With the network, the restricted and exclusive world of fashion has come to be desired for a new type of consumer: the low-incomers. It was this segment that specializes Riachuelo” says the entrepreneur. Flavio Rocha still wants more, including the increase of production currently home of 200,000 pieces a day, and aiming to socially transform the Northeast, mainly the Rio Grande do Norte region, his hometown.
There are many pros and cons on this new era. While many people are supporting the ideas, other are rejecting it.
“The inconsequential chain of fast fashion is coming to an end”, says the researcher Dutch trend hunter Li Edelkoort, who has been singled out by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the fashion world. She recently presented the anti-fashion Manifest, in which she explains the reasons to influence people to believe that fashion – the way we know it today – is obsolete because of the immense exploration of slave labor, toxic products to environment, the hectic pace of production and disposal without thinking about the environmental and social consequences. The Manifest presents ten topics, including: education, materialization, manufacturing, prices, designers, marketing, advertising, business and blogs, retail and consumer.
On the pro- side, many think that fast fashion is a great phenomenon for its industry: new collections are entering the stores every week. The idea is that the production spread in more styles and obtain diversity. “While those stocks are extended in this ideal, they get narrower because not all numbers and sizes are available in the collection, not all colors and patterns exist for each of the products”, explains Alberto Serrentino, Senior Partner of Gouvea de Souza & MD. The store creates a more intense relationship with the consumer, because it educates the client not to wait for sales. If they do not buy the piece they like, next week it may have already been sold. The client goes direct to the point of sale and, as a result, they end it up buying more.
The strategy worked with some customers already. They pass by the store few times a week to check out what is new. In case they like the new items, they buy them without the need of it. The stores also need to work harder and improve their window´s look by changing it often. It is the window that catches consumers’ eyes. The purchases become totally unplanned and pure impulse.
Consea do Brasil