For designers and retailers, opposites attract (when it comes to calendars...)

If the United States in in a recession, you wouldn't know it by looking at the amount of money spent on Black Friday. More than $52.4 billion was spent on gifts and sale items on the countries biggest shopping day of the year, and desperation got the best of some as reports came in of people pepper spraying and pulling out guns on their fellow shoppers over Ipads and cameras.

Black Friday in New York City
A man is arrested during 
Black Friday in New York

With money gushing into department stores and boutiques nation-wide, you'd think designers would be ringing their hands in anticipation of a huge payday. But during the holiday season, designers are the last ones getting a check on behalf of their creations. When everyone else is buying and selling, designers are between seasons, preparing for their next big release.

Having sold their collections 6 months to a year before it hits the shelves, during the crazed shopping seasons it's everyone else that is profiting. All they have to do is sit back, relax, and let the items sell themselves. Nothing needs to be pushed when shoppers are actively seeking out places to spend money. Meanwhile, designers are hard at work preparing the next year's collections, as well as nailing down plans and details for Fall Fashion Week in February. While the supplier is making huge amounts of money, designers are on the other end of the cycle creating.

Marchesa Spring 2012

Blake Lively in Marchesa

Explaining this cycle answers many questions for consumers wondering why fashion weeks take place in opposite seasons. A fall/winter collection is shown at the end of the previous year's winter and beginning of spring. Spring and summer and is shown at the beginning of fall. Buyers don't just see something they like on the runway, order it, and have it selling within two weeks. Manufacturing tailored to the rules of supply and demand, as well as the amount of time consumers need to prepare a seasonal wardrobe, means several months between a first glimpse of a piece to it actually hanging in someone's closet.

Xuan-Thu Nguyen
Kenya Hunt in Xuan-Thu Nguyen coat
 There are exceptions to every rule, of course, since celebrities and special clients are often seen wearing a garment only several weeks or days after it was first seen on the runway. However, this is all part of marketing and advertising, and lends just one more reason for a high-fashion consumer to purchase the piece the minute it's available in stores, even if that's still a few months away.