PARIS — Eager to seize the cultural moment, and support its burgeoning international business, Mugler is stomping back onto the Paris Fashion Week calendar, easing up on the see now, buy now strategy it had pursued in recent years.
The Paris-based fashion house is on the provisional schedule to unveil its spring 2024 collection on Oct. 2, part of a broader effort to scale up the business.
More from WWD
Led by its creative director Casey Cadwallader, Mugler plans to develop and sell four collections a year, including two new pre-collections, while reserving the see now, buy now tactic for select product drops and collaborations.
“It’s the opportunity for us now to really reassert ourselves amongst some of the bigger players in the industry,” said Mugler’s managing director Adrian Corsin, disclosing the changes to WWD in an exclusive interview on Monday. “We’re a brand that’s in full progression.”
Launched in 2020 in tandem with a focus on online distribution, Mugler touted its see now, buy now strategy as a way to exalt the brand’s commitment to female empowerment, and its brand DNA, via fierce, trans-seasonal fashions.
Corsin lauded the approach for “allowing you to be really close to the consumer. Also you get to test in real time what is working and what is resonating with the customer,” he said in an interview at Mugler’s new offices on the Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, where photos are still propped against the wall, waiting to be hung.
But as Mugler accrues a growing number of wholesale clients, particularly in Asia, it was time to evolve the business model in line with its peers — one that will allow Mugler to scale the business, he explained. Its new headquarters, located over three floors, will dedicate one to a showroom.
Corsin noted the brand has been growing at double- and triple-digit rates the past three years, and now counts around 150 retail partners.
The executive said Cadwallader is on board “250 percent” with the new collection and show configuration, noting that one of the challenges of the see now, buy now model is creative: developing a collection that is sold six months before being presented on a runway, or unveiled via a fashion film.
Corsin described Mugler as a brand that has always been “obsessed with culture, and culture in the moment, in the now. So when you are developing the collection six months before [presenting], it’s a little bit harder to be in that now moment.
“And creativity is something that’s so important to us — imagination, fantasy, creativity and constantly pushing the boundaries,” he added.
Jacquemus is one of the most prominent European fashion brands pursuing a see now, buy now model. Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are among designers who have also dabbled with the format in recent years, with Hilfiger being the only brand of the three that continues to use the format on a regular basis.
Corsin stressed that Mugler isn’t “rejecting” see now, buy now, but evolving it to selective use — if the brand were to launch a skiwear capsule, for example.
“There might be moments when we might re-explore a film for a specific launch or specific capsule. And there’ll be moments where we’re gonna be exploring physical,” he said. “I think it’s about what feels right in that moment.”
Mugler’s last big event for a collaboration was a blowout fashion show and music concert last April for the launch of its H&M collaboration.
The executive called the project a “blockbuster success. We sold out within one day. It really brought awareness of the brand to a whole new clientele and whole new generation of people.”
Best of WWD