Planning A Fashion Season

Did you know that it can take as little as 25 hours a year to do strategic planning?

In working with apparel leaders and founders I’ve found spending as little as 25 hours a year allows them to provide 1) A clear roadmap for their team that gets everyone moving in the right direction to achieve the strategic goal 2) Removes silos and promotes healthy collaboration 3) Stay out of the weeds and maintain the clarity of a visionary leader. 

Here is a macro overview of planning a season. Keep in mind it takes up-to a year, if not more to plan a season and develop a collection (depending on the brand). 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to guide your planning.

✔️ There are 2 to 24 seasons in a year, this also depends on the brand. Many small and luxury brands operate on 2 seasons which are Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. 
Side Note: Fast fashion brands don’t seem to adhere to a season as they are pumping product into the market on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. 

✔️ The industry is anchored around 2 season Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.

✔️ Market is a major marker in planning a season. 

✔️ There are lots of moving parts some need to be managed and others you simply need to be aware of.  

Design | Sales | Marketing 
Note: I’m not including information around operation and logistics. I’ll dive into that in another issue 

Phase 1 -Design – color, inspiration & trend 
Sales – B2B
Marketing – B2B 

Phase 2 – 
Design – Sourcing & Pre-production
Sales – B2B (primary focus) & B2C (secondary focus)
Marketing – B2B (primary focus) & B2C (secondary focus)

Market – This is buying season for brands. It can last 2-3 months and is anchored around NY Fashion Week. It begins with major markets (think big brands with Flagship locations) followed by secondary markets and specialty stores. This is a critical time and could have a drastic impact on your business, positive or negative. It is when you want to get in front of your ideal buyer. The Autumn-Winter 2022 (AW22) buying season begins on February 10. Thats just 16 days away!

Phase 3 – 
Design – production & pre-launch 
Sales – B2C (primary focus) & B2B (secondary focus)
Marketing – B2C (primary focus) & B2B (secondary focus)

Launch – Warehousing, transportation & Fulfillment

Circular Fashion Brands – think about the entire lifecycle of their product which includes customer care and what happens to that product when customers (first owners) are “done” with the product. More on that in another issue.