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Time to declare open season on fashion?

When putting together this week’s Brandwatch I was at first a bit taken aback by some of the styles presented.

I was so bemused by some of the images that I had to check and double check I was looking at the right season.

With the plethora of relatively chunky jackets on offer for spring, it appears brands have accepted fully both the fluctuating demands the British weather puts on clothing and the smorgasbord of climatic conditions in other areas of the world they want to sell their wares in.

While the move to everyone offering truly seasonless collections may be a little way off yet, we are getting to the point where we might well question the relevance of having distinct spring and autumn seasons.

I was discussing with an Australian fashion PR the other day how, during my previous life at Asos, Australia as a market was growing disproportionately quickly. The reason? Shoppers from Down Under are able to get their hands on, say, winter ranges from Asos six months in advance of when they appear in their country’s shops, while summer product at the UK etailer goes into markdown right at the start of the Australian summer.

The seasons are essentially meaningless when selling to a global audience, as someone somewhere will always want a chunky winter coat or bikini - albeit probably not at the same time - so where is the harm in having a much more fluid offer that ebbs and flows with the Gulf Stream rather than abruptly jumping from shorts to sweaters?

Newness is always a draw but it doesn’t have to come in the form of a change of season. Drops throughout the year also make sense financially, as retailers can be more responsive to inclement weather or trends that change like the wind, rather than sinking funds into too many ‘surefire winners’. In fact, apart from the fashion weeks, which still need the seasonal shift to create their time to shine, I see no real reason for holding on to spring and autumn, so we might as well jacket all in for good (sorry).

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