Understanding the Fashion Calendar in 2024 (and Beyond)


The fashion industry thrives on its season, but unlike nature, these seasons aren’t always as predictable as spring flowers, summer patios, the changing leaves of autumn, or winter chills.

We’ve put together this guide to unveil the typical flow of fashion seasons, including some of the variations that you might encounter. We’ll also discuss how fashion brands plan ahead to ensure retail buyers stay relevant with updated stock that stays on-trend.

The Two Main Players:

Spring/Summer (SS) & Autumn/Winter (AW)

When it comes to traditional fashion heavyweights, Spring/Summer (SS) and Autumn/Winter (AW) are the ones that dictate what arrives in stores well before the actual seasons hit. Breezy fabrics, activewear, and swimwear are common Spring/Summer additions, while cozy knits, layered outfits, and outerwear come out for Autumn/Winter.

However, there’s more to this story these days…

Sustainability is playing a larger role in the market, as some brands embrace a more sustainable approach to new launches, which could result in potentially showcasing fewer collections.

The concept of distinct seasons is also softening, leading to what some are calling a blurring of seasons, with designers starting to offer pieces that transcends traditional fashion boundaries.

A Peek at All Seasons: Especially Important for Fast Fashion

Spring/Summer & Resort/Cruise Collections

When it comes to the fashion seasons calendar, Planning for SS releases happens months in advance. This includes fabric selection, design, and production, which all take place well before the new year, so that the product can reach store shelves in time for the SS shopping window.

Shopping for SS happens typically between February – July, where sales are expected to start around mid-June. This isn’t to be confused with Resort/Cruise collections, which has a shopping window that runs from December – March. Think of it like an extended summer vacation! Similar to SS collections, Resort/Cruise collections are designed and produced months ahead of their expected shopping window.

In addition to these types of collections, there are also SS Sub-collections, which are variations offered within the main SS timeframe. They follow the same design and production windows as other SS collections, and they share the same shopping window of February – July.

Pre-Fall & Holiday Collections

You might be surprised to hear this, but pre-fall collections are created even earlier than SS or Resort/Cruise collections. This is because these collections bridge the gap between seasons with lighter takes on fall trends, and need to be ready for production by early spring to ensure August deliveries to retailers. The Pre-Fall shopping window is August – September.

Holiday collections are uniquely festive and include things like sparkly dresses, brightly colored outfits, and certain fashion aesthetics that don’t really fall into any other season. People like to wear exciting, eye-catching clothing this time of the year, which is why it’s no surprise that the holiday collection shopping window is November – December.

Planning for holiday collections usually starts in the spring or early summer, so that manufacturers can ensure production is complete and deliveries reach stores by October, in lots of time for the holiday shopping rush.

Why the Slight Shifts in Timing?

As you can see, while the core structure remains consistent, there are some slight variations in the fashion season calendars for 2024. This could be due to a number of factors, such as:

  • Weather – Early or late cold snaps can influence when stores want to start stocking AW collections.
  • Holidays – Some retailers may adjust their deliveries to align with other major holidays throughout the year; apart from the winter holiday season.
  • Fashion Weeks – Dates may vary slightly from year to year for when fashion weeks are held, and in turn, this can impact the timing of collection finalization.

What’s the takeaway from all this? EMBRACE THE FLOW! Expect some flexibility in the dates, but the core framework (SS being the biggest shopping window) remains a firm constant. 

How ApparelMagic Can Help You Navigate the Seasons

Using ApparelMagic offers advanced reporting and forecasting features that can help you:

  • Predict what will sell – Gain insights into upcoming trends and consumer behaviors, so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
  • Make informed decisions – Optimize your inventory, so that you can ensure that you have the right products in stock at the right time, everytime.

ApparelMagic’s tools empower you to navigate the ever-evolving fashion calendar with confidence. By planning and producing months in advance, fashion brands ensure that retail buyers always have the most relevant products on their shelves throughout all the fashion seasons.

Streamline processes & increase productivity by 60%

More news from the ApparelMagic Community