Donna Karan: "We’re Killing Our Own Industry"

Link: Donna Karan: “We’re Killing Our Own Industry”

Wish I could have been there! Last night, Donna Karan and FIT’s Valerie Steele sat down for a discussion at Parsons about the current state of the fashion industry. Fashionologie reports:

She not only wants to change the clothing delivery schedule, but also the fashion show schedule.

“When I launched my company, the shows were in April and May, now they’re in February. So my question to this industry, and I say it to myself for my own company: Why am I showing clothes in February? I don’t want the consumer to see next week [at New York Fashion Week] what is going to be in stores in Fall, because it’s confusing. In the movie industry, the consumer doesn’t know about the movies until they’re ready to come out. Why do we give the consumer so much information about fashion six or seven months beforehand? It makes no sense to me.”

In regards to the modern iteration of the fashion show, she says:

“We need fashion shows, but that’s industry, it’s not for the general public. All the communication has to stop. It doesn’t go out on the wire, it doesn’t go out on the Internet, it doesn’t get out for the manufacturers to copy the designs. I mean, we’re killing our own industry … There’s too much information going out there. We have to learn the word restriction.”

I know that as a fashion blogger, I should be wildly opposed to the notion that fashion shows shouldn’t be filled with Tavi Gevinsons, Bryan Boys, and a smattering of paid-appearance A-listers. In truth, though, I mostly agree with Donna Karan on this one. The three ring circus that make up any city’s fashion week is great for tabloid fodder and “Tweet as fast as you can” style coverage, but it really breaks down into an overload of information that’s just not that informative. I have as much fun as the next girl reading the Fug Girls’ daily recaps during New York Fashion Week, but their coverage is most definitely celebrity based – who showed up where looking like which character from Dynasty. Good fun, but how relevant can that really be from an industry standpoint?

On the other hand, I think that closing off all media access to fashion shows may be going a bit too far. If they really made them industry exclusive, the whole thing would turn into Cartmanland – and you can’t come! – except I think it would end in stiletto heels being used as weaponry as the gate crashers took gate crashing to violent new heights.


So much to do at Fashion Week, but you can’t come! …especially you Stan and Kyle.

Then again, maybe I’m just jealous that I’m not the one sitting stone faced on the front row, Blackberry waiting like a six shooter to be drawn in an Old West shootout of name-dropping microblogs.

Anyway, read the whole article on Fashionologie. It’s very interesting, and Donna Karan’s ideas are a refreshingly honest and frank. Here’s hoping someone in the sold-out audience was listening!

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