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Fashion week: London and New York embrace see now buy now; Milan and Paris cautious

London - At New York fashion week in September, Tommy Hilfiger's 'see now buy now' collection in collaboration with model Gigi Hadid dominated the week's headlines with its well-organised parade and immediate availability in-store. In London, it was Burberry who set the tone, making its entire catwalk collection available for purchase in real time with its presentation, and subsequently showcasing its craft to the public at Makers House.

London continues to embrace the revolution happening in fashion with its newly titled London Fashion Week Festival. The new mega-event is the solution adopted by the British Fashion Council (BFC) to bring consumers and fashion closer together, bridging the gap of attainability, and removing any elitist association of fashion week. It is also recognising the potential to make monumental sales.

London's move confirms the 'split' between the two streams of fashion week: the first characterized by the adoption of the see-now buy model as a starting point and development; the second as traditionalist, and embraced by most luxury brands.

New York and London open to a new philosophy

New York, like London, has proven to be open to the new philosophy, promoting both guises to see now-buy now and many dedicated initiatives, widely embraced by designers such as Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren.

In Milan, the Camera di Moda, or Chamber of Fashion, has introduced a myriad of ways to make fashion week inclusive to the public, but remains skeptical about the see-now buy now model. Where Prada, Moschino and Tod's have flirted with showing capsule items available immediately, companies like Dolce & Gabbana remain strongly opposed.

The same sentiment is echoed in Paris, so far the city with the least support for immediate fashion and where the shows are generally not shoppable. Francois-Henri Pinault - CEO of French luxury conglomerate Kering, feels that the new concept "negates the dream" of luxury and that waiting for the pieces "creates desire" for his labels.

No chance of buying Balenciaga or Gucci straight off the catwalk any time soon.

Photo credit: Burberry website