As online retail continues to edge in on brick-and-mortar business, it should come as no surprise that e-commerce buyers are taking over at Fashion Week, too. For the first time ever, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia reported that representatives from online retailers outnumbered their physical counterparts in the shows’ front rows.
Among the “clicks outnumbering bricks” in Sydney were major online players like ASOS, Shopbop, Net-a-Porter, and Yoox. Moda Operandi, which is pioneering the online trunk show and the early runway-to-consumer delivery system, was also a big presence. What’s notable isn’t just that these retailers come from around the globe, but that they all cater to an international audience.
The young designer Jeremy Somers, of We Are Handsome, noted that online shopping was “paramount” to his label’s business. Especially for designers based as remotely as he is, courting buyers from online retail is a way to accommodate more than just changing shopping tastes at home — as e-commerce becomes increasingly globalized, getting one’s goods onto a site shipping to, say, 90 countries is the most efficient path to worldwide recognition.