In recent years, fashion companies have stopped developing a particular line at a particular price point but instead have started approaching design in terms of line portfolio. This is because at each segment of the fashion pyramid profits can be made by adjusting the fashion content, cost of production and promised values. Armani is an example of a fashion brand that has been able to conjugate its unique brand identity to forge several lines spanning from haute couture to denim and mass market.
In this post we are going to address:
All in all, we can say, that like for any other strategic decision, pursuing the development of multiple collections, designed to address a specific target in the market can be beneficial or detrimental to a company, according to its specific goals and objectives. Having said this, we can suggest some reasons why it might be useful for a company to develop a collection portfolio, or why sticking to a single collection might be better for some.
One sure challenge is related to multiplying the complexity of the process of developing a single line into a variety of lines, with a different design, supply chain, marketing and distribution requirements. In the following paragraph, we’ll look at some of the factors to take into account when approaching collection development.
When developing a line a designer or a style department will need to take into account three different elements of analysis to make sure that a collection portfolio helps a brand widen its market while maintaining its own heritage.
These first three elements may relate to the design and marketing stages of value chain. However, in fashion distribution logistics play an important role, and consequently, we should also take into account:
Let’s now move on to another critical element in collection development: timing and shelflife.
Even if do everything right, each collection will need to be renewed after a season. Thankfully, however, not all collections have the same shelf life. According to what discussed above some collections are going to last longer than other. In order of shelf-life, from the longest to the shortest, here are four collection typologies.
Let’s now move on to conclusions, and understand how the concept of collection portfolio can fit into a more general business framework.
As we’ve seen in this post, there are many opportunities in going after each and every tier of the customer and competing across the fashion pyramid. At the same time, however, this strategy can be extremely costly and multiply risk as much as forecast revenue. In general terms, however, the collection portfolio brings forward a different concept, which relates to the business models that firms follow. A good design idea is not enough, a firm needs to put the idea at the center of a completely new value chain and in a different relationship with its customers if it wants to draw out its value and potential.
This concept is not new, the Business Model Canvas is a tool that was designed to convey this exact idea, that if a core element in a firm changes, then, everything else needs to change too.
What makes this process particularly challenging in fashion is due to the tight deadlines and cyclical process which need to be flawlessly integrated and delivered in order to bring a collection to market.
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