'Because the internet enables almost real-time sharing of information, social media trends can make or break a design trend in minutes,' writes Infor Fashion strategy director Bob McKee in a Jan. 26 opinion piece in Supply Chain Brain, headlined 'Social Media, the Supply Chain and How to Tackle Fast Fashion.'
Take this spontaneous case of emotional contagion:
'When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, he gave her a sapphire ring-the same ring that his father Prince Charles had given Princess Diana. When the young couple announced their engagement in November 2010, Kate wore a shimmery sapphire dress from Issa London to set off the ring. Blogs like "What Kate Wore" (now a Facebook page as well) identified the label. Not only did the dress sell out almost instantly, but the demand for sapphire rings crashed websites for jewelers around the world. … Issa was not the only brand suddenly flooded with a demand surge. Many others re-imagined the iconic "little blue dress" in other cuts and fabrics-even maternity styles and short-sleeved cotton dresses-and rushed it out to consumers while demand was high. This was fast fashion in reactive mode. …
'To keep up, apparel, footwear, accessories, and home textiles companies need to build value chain partnerships with suppliers and integrate their processes so they can replenish just in time in a matter of days rather than weeks, thereby minimizing the inventory and work in process risk in the supply chain.'