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Covid-19 may finally reset the fashion industry’s crazy seasonal calendar

Models present creations by designer Dries Van Noten as part of his Fall/Winter 2020/21 women's ready-to-wear collection show during Paris Fashion Week
Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw
Fashion is still struggling with diversity.
  • Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter

Published Last updated on

The calendar followed by much of the fashion industry doesn’t make any sense. In August, when summer is blazing in the northern hemisphere, clothing for cold weather begins to arrive in stores. In February, as much of the world is in a deep freeze, warm-weather outfits start hitting racks. To clear space for the new arrivals, retailers put clothing that’s actually seasonally appropriate on sale, eating into their margins.

A group of fashion heavyweights is looking to use the system reset caused by Covid-19 to change this out-of-whack paradigm, which evolved from the seasonal schedule of Parisian couture houses a century ago.

In an open letter to the fashion industry posted online today, a faction of influential designers, retail executives, and others argue the present calendar is wasteful, bad for business, and needs to change. Even before the pandemic, many within fashion had been calling for a shift. But the group, whose leaders included respected designer Dries Van Noten and Andrew Keith, CEO of Hong Kong-based retailer Lane Crawford, say Covid-19 has offered the moment to make the change.

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