Fashion Seasons Explained

We break down the seasons for you.
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Like the other Fashion Week events that take place around the world, London Fashion Week happens twice a year – but how do the fashion seasons work?

The event showcases all the new collections from emerging and established designers to a carefully-selected group of press, influencers and industry insiders.

READ MORE: Is London Fashion Week cancelled?

But for those who don’t work in the industry, the seasons can be confusing. Which collections are shown in February and September? And what are they called?

Molly Goddard

Here, we break down the fashion seasons for you.

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What are the fashion seasons called?

Fashion is actually split into four seasons.

These are Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter (or Fall in the US), Resort and Pre-Fall.

The two main seasons are Spring/Summer (SS) and Autumn/Winter (AW) and these are shown at Fashion Week in Paris, Milan, New York and London every year.

When do the fashion seasons run?

Surprisingly Spring Summer starts in January and lasts until June, while Autumn Winter runs from July to December.

Resort collections overlap this and are offered from October to December, while Pre-Fall are in stores before the AW collections arrive.

The confusion comes of course as Summer and Resort collections are sold in January, when it’s cold! It’s the same when it comes to Winter; Winter clothing is sold in July, when it’s still warm out.

This is because fashion brands and retailers like to offer fashion lines early. The old season will then go into sale.

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However in 2016, Burberry started a ‘see now, buy now’ approach. This means the pieces shown on their runway are put up for sale right away. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford followed suit.

Designers have also started to become more veering away from the traditional seasons when it comes to their pieces.

Giambattista Valli, for instance, focused on pastels — which are usually reserved for Spring — for the house’s Autumn Winter 2020 collection.

Some designers have also included turtlenecks and boots in their Spring Summer collections, while others have featured sleeveless knitwear and coats in their Autumn Winter collections.

READ MORE: How can I watch London Fashion Week AW21?

Fashion Week

It gets even more confusing when it comes to Fashion Week.

Spring summer collections are shown to press at Fashion Week in September for the following summer, while AW collections are shown in February for the following winter.

Fashion Week informs the trends for the season, so collections must be shown early. Retail buyers need time to view the collections and decide which pieces to go with, then designers need time to manufacture the orders. Fashion editors also need time to select samples and shoot editorials for the season, informing their readers of the trends before they hit stores.

Resort and Pre-Fall collections don’t have their own Fashion Weeks, so brands often shoot them independently and send them out to press. Others choose to hold their own presentations or shows.

We hope that’s helped you understand the seasons a little better. For more, read our comprehensive guide to LFW.