The pre-collection is a major source of revenue for many design houses and a point of stress for everyone who works at said labels. Plenty of designers have lamented the growing pressures in the modern landscape of the fashion industry, saying that with all the regular season, pre-season and (sometimes) couture collections, it’s like running on empty. Or, as Proenza Schouler‘s Lazaro Hernandez says, “It’s a pain in the ass.”
In the past few years, pre-collections have become increasingly important, though they didn’t exist two decades ago. And who’s to blame for the added workload? Alber Elbaz thinks he is.
The Lanvin creative director is profiled today in WWD to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the storied fashion house, and during the interview he admits that the whole pre-collection trend was most likely his fault. And he’s not necessarily jazzed about it, either. “I think that I’m the first one who started presenting pre-collection, which was the biggest mistake of my life,” he said. “I did the Hôtel de Crillon thing and I invited like 10 editors and a few retailers and I thought, How wonderful just to have tea with beautiful flowers and to talk about flowers and fashion. And then more people wanted to come, and we did a second show, and then more people wanted to come and we had to turn it into a season. Now, the fact is that almost everything that is in the store is all about that pre-collection.”
It’s amazing how one bright idea can turn into a nightmare.
Watch the totally charming Elbaz at the Lanvin studio ahead of his spring show: