It sounds obvious, but for too long fashion hasn’t operated that way. Collections were designed with an eye to editorial credits, not real-life wearability. And store buyers made orders based on previous seasons’ sell-throughs, then returned merchandise when it didn’t move or offloaded it at deep discounts.
With runways out of the picture and brick-and-mortar stores closed for much of this year, brands relied on their own e-commerce platforms. Now that they have adjusted their operations, returning to former ways of doing things seems more and more unlikely as the crisis extends. “There’s a chasm between what works in a big way online and the old runway collection idea,” Wainwright said.
It’s not all tracksuits, but this pre-fall collection is Rag & Bone–ier than ever, constructed on the brand building blocks of denim, military gear, and English tailoring. These are easy-to-wear clothes for a world in which the once strict division between dressing for work and dressing for pleasure is grayer than in the past.
Wainwright believes the experience of the pandemic will permanently change how the Rag & Bone customer gets dressed—not so much in terms of silhouette, but in terms of comfort.
Constructed of knitted wool, a blazer wears like a cardigan; shirts are half poplin, half jersey, further blurring the formal/casual divide; and pants are designed with our new ways of commuting—on bikes and on scooters—in mind. The lookbook begins and ends with swimwear. Optimism, it would seem, is essential to the brand ethos too. “It assumes people will be in the sunshine,” Wainwright confirmed.