How Has The Fashion Industry Been Impacted By The Pandemic
As the world slowly & cautiously comes out of lockdown, how has the pandemic affected the fashion industry. Ranging from retail to magazines to runway shows & fashion collections.
What will it be like to shop for clothes again. I haven’t been to a store yet and think online shopping will increase, I did my fair share of this during lockdown in Melbourne and am still doing.
As less people are able to enter retail stores at a time, due to store limitation numbers, will they turn to rental websites or apps to get their shopping fix like Your Closet, Rent the Runway and Stylebook.
How will retail survive? Will there still be bricks & mortar stores. According to CBRE, by 2030 the largest influence on the Australian retail environment is sustainability, experience and convenience. You can read CBRE’s full report here
As models & photographers can no longer go to far flung exotic places for photo shoots, some magazines are using CGI imagery to design their covers. In some instances, the models are taking photos of themselves at home on their instant cameras or iPhones with the help of photographers. Some fashion magazines have been axed due to advertising revenue or have gone digital. The Australian magazines that have been axed are Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, OK!, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and InStyle.
Some designers have had to adapt to new ways of showing their collections. They have gone digital & presented their collections virtually. While nothing beats the excitement & atmosphere of a live runway show. For the time being, these shows will probably have to be done virtually or socially distanced for the safety of everyone. Vogue recently had ‘Vogue Global Conversation’ and one of the topics covered was ‘The Future of Fashion Shows’. They spoke to Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi, and Cedric Charbit of Balenciaga. You can catch the video or read about it here.
The pandemic has made the fashion industry re-evaluate seasonal collections. Fashion is a polluting industry and needs to be a lot more sustainable. All those air miles going to all those fashion shows. Recently a group of major brands have written an open letter to the Fashion Industry to address this problem and transform the industry. You can read the letter here.
Creative directors & designers at luxury brands have been vocal about the pressures & impact of designing so many collections for the fashion calendar. They lose creativity & have burnout due to the amount they have to produce & design. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele has decided to do away with the regular fashion week schedule. He has adopted a seasonless approach. More creativity and less stress which is why seasonless collections make sense. Design & sell collections for when the seasons are meant to be. Like February/July for Spring/Summer and August/January for Autumn/Winter
With the amount of products coming out each season and short lead time, there is bound to be overstocked products at the end of each season, which designers try to get rid of by discounting. What is the point of selling full price products when you know down the track it will be discounted. Luxury brand like Prada has stopped clearance sales altogether citing strengthening the brands image and guaranteeing higher margins for them.
Finally, how will the fashion industry change? Will we, as consumers buy less and keep what we have for longer periods? Will there be a shift in fast fashion? Who knows, we will have to wait and see.