This story was originally published on January 26, 2017.
Of all the brands on the official Fashion Week calendar, you'd definitely think of H&M as an early adopter of the "see now, buy now" craze. But, since it made its runway debut in Paris in March 2015, its Studio label stuck with the longtime industry convention of showing garments a season ahead. Unlike its fellow presenters, it would usually only host one fashion show a year, for fall — even as some designers began discussing a shift towards in-season events. Now, though, the Swedish retailer is closing the gap between its previews and its collections, opting to use its March Paris Fashion Week spot to bring us spring '17. And it'll be available immediately afterwards.
On March 1, H&M Studio will host its first-ever "see now, buy now." Shoppers will be able to immediately place orders on the pieces shown on the runway once the last model makes her way backstage. Those who wish to mull over their purchases can walk into select H&M stores the following day, where the new collection will be on display. Another big first: H&M Studio will present a full-fledged menswear range.
"Bringing fashion immediately from catwalk to checkout marks a new era for the fashion industry," Pernilla Wohlfahrt, head of design and creative director of H&M, said in a statement. "We're very much looking forward to testing this exciting new format."
Of course, it was only a matter of time before the retailer officially made this shift — it's one of the few fashion companies that participates in Fashion Week that's uniquely equipped to meet this quick turnaround (it's the only notable fast-fashion brand on the calendar, at that). However, not all of its Parisian cohorts have warmed up to the idea of "see now, buy now" just yet. "As far as we are concerned, the present system is still valid," Ralph Toledano, president of Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode in France, told WWD last February, as the buzz around in-season presentations started gaining traction. "There is not one person who said it was a problem. Our clientele is educated and informed on how the system works."
As far as what we can expect from H&M's first shoppable runway, the retailer teases that this spring, "traditional tailoring techniques meet with the functionality and high-tech elements of sportswear in a fresh and modern clash pulling inspiration from the grace, passion and strength of the ballet movement." Saville Row meets Lincoln Center? Color us intrigued.
Check out a little snippet of the upcoming collection in the lookbook, ahead.