Are Market Appointments Still Necessary in a Digital Fashion World?

Jessica Schiffer

In today’s increasingly digital world, the market appointment is one of the few relics still standing from the pre-Internet fashion era. Meant to introduce editors and buyers to a brand’s most recent collection, the meetings usually involve a detailed walk through the latest pieces, either by a press representative or, if you’re lucky, the designers themselves. Although runway shows and presentations may be more exciting, it’s these appointments that editors really count on to give them a sense of the current season and help them brainstorm future stories. After all, there’s a significant difference between seeing a garment or accessory whirl by you on a model and actually holding it in your hands. You might assume that such close contact would be invaluable, but the industry’s widespread migration to the digital sphere has actually called that into question.

See, the Internet has not only transformed the way we do things overall—it’s also shaken up our values as an industry, especially when it comes to what we look for in new collections. While we may have once been content to settle for pieces that were well made and beautiful in person, we now place a greater emphasis on how something photographs, especially when laid flat. Confused as to why that might matter? All you have to do is consider your favorite e-commerce site, or Who What Wear itself! Think of the shopping imagery we collectively prefer: crisp and clear, on a white background, with the item’s form and function un-garbled when seen off the body. Without such standards, our readers wouldn't get the best sense of what they're looking at, or, more importantly, thinking about buying. And there’s not a magazine or website today that doesn’t need imagery like this—that, you might say, doesn’t thrive on imagery like this—even if it’s still producing fashion spreads that showcase clothing in action. As a result, market appointments can fall a bit lower on the priority list, and the extensive digital press kits that brands now send out indicate their awareness of this change.

But do all of us editors support this transformation or believe, perhaps, that such appointments are now a waste of time? Not in the least. Scroll down to see what some of the top editors working in both magazine and digital publishing had to say about the place of market appointments today:

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