The idea of selling fashion straight to shoppers sounds simple enough, but how often it happens today represents a big shift in retail. For decades, retailers that collected brands under one roof were industry power brokers, playing a lead role in determining which labels shoppers bought, or even knew existed, and helping to shape their images. Plenty of labels had their own stores, but establishing a global network of shops to reach all potential customers could be prohibitively expensive and complicated. Many brands, especially in luxury fashion, instead relied on multi-brand retailers to be their main connection to shoppers. But thanks in large part to the growth of e-commerce and social media, brands are able to connect—and sell—directly to customers themselves (pdf), shifting the balance of power between the brands and retailers. Those leaning into this shift aren’t just digitally native upstarts like Everlane, Bonobos, and others that built their businesses on the idea of cutting out the middleman. Labels across the spectrum are doing it, through a combination of e-commerce and their own stores, up through and including top luxury labels. Read more at Quartz.