Making Couture Fashion Accessible

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 A new idea of accessible couture made to order clothes and small labels are flourishing.

I spoke to founders, creators and designers of a fabulous textile-based label Rianna+Nina at Paris Fashion Week. They are already stocked in key high-level boutiques across the world, they have NO intention of getting very big, they want to have the conversation with their stockists, buyers, and clients so the product the brand and they are in harmony and can move forward with confidence. In this day and age, it is easy to be able to track, follow and communicate so that the customer says, “I loved the longer sleeves, please can we have more” or “I hated the big buttons, please don’t do those again”.

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The conversation which is possible with small, local companies, and the ability for them to react quickly is becoming a huge factor in clothing. Especially with technology, communication through any straightforward social media is easy. The huge retailers are locked into a cycle founded back when retailers dictated to the customers. The idea of long term orders, put down to secure prices way before the season, started with securing the cloth, even before the styles were formulated. Long term planning has its place, but as a support and a framework, not as a straight jacket. But we are now seeing new brands being nimble and versatile, so stock levels and waste can be kept to a minimum.

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 Words and Images by Tony Glenville