One year of covid - fashion design sector, what has changed

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Corrado Manenti
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- One year of covid - fashion design, what has changed - 1

Be A Designer. Let's create your Fashion Brand together, discover our operational partnership ???> DISCOVER

The time came to take stock of the situation of 10 years of change in the fashion worldwhen in Italy the 9 March 2020 the first general lockdown due to a pandemic of Coronavirus. One year to date since the start of the national lockdown nothing is the same as before, with a situation that requires a new, more challenging and innovative analysis.

The COVID-19 has ruined many dynamics but accelerated othersradically transforming the entire core business of the fashion industry.

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>

Italian counts estimate to date a decrease of -20%, lower than expected mid-year but higher than during the economic crisis of 2008 (-9%).

But numbers are not enough to shed light on the evolutionary process of the communication and distribution media used by fashion. The topics are manifold: 

  • Physical retail crisis 

  • Digital shopping revolution

  • Entertainment turn 

  • Parades 

  • The role of influencers

  • The problems of the production chain 

  • The great demand for sustainability from consumers

  • And many others?

Macro transformations are reflected in every branch of the industry.

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>


Fashion before COVID-19

In late 2019, according to McKinsey, the Fashion industry would have had a decrease in growth of -3/4% in the following yeardue to increasingly cautious consumers amidst wider economic, political and trade uncertainty. 

I first two months of 2020 are dominated by classic appointments: Fashion Week, major film awards, Oscars at the Baftas with its red carpetwhich are the stage favoured by designers to give context to their style line.

Just in the days of Milan Fashion Week the alarm reaches Italythe first European country affected by the pandemic: Giorgio Armani chooses to parade behind closed doorsmaking the first of a series of gestures that will make him a spokesman for the demand for change in the months to come.

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>

 

Has the fashion design economy collapsed or changed since Italy's first Lockdown?

The 9 March Italy closes. Businesses, schools, shops and the entire social fabric that makes up the garment industry and accessories. The priority is the health emergency, so the vast majority of the industries of the converted.

The change is accompanied by an inevitable general standstill of the system, and major events in April and May cancelled - as the Cruise 2021 fashion show series - manufacturers decide to lighten the system by talking about a common stop of production with unbridled timing, typical of the fashion industry.

- One year of covid - fashion design, what has changed - 2

Be A Designer. Let's create your Fashion Brand together, discover our operational partnership ???> DISCOVER

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>

Carlo Capasa is against it, President of Camera Modawith an open letter explaining that "allow the closure of some companies, especially smallwould create a tear in the unique fabric that our supply chain represents. The question is: are we willing to lose our iconic industry? We can safeguard people at risk, we can use different criteria in certain geographical areas, but if we want to continue to have a fashion industry in Italy, we must start producing again right away".

Stylists also take a standparticularly those of the Kering group: Gucci and Saint Laurent announced their departure from the traditional catwalk calendar. On the other side (along with other brands) is Chanel, to bring events back to normal as soon as possible.

Live or digital, parades are entertainment.

Fashion shows are throughout the year the territory of experimentation and dissemination within the fashion industry. Live events are greatly reduced, and their role also changes. Whether they are marketing or circulation managers, whether they are buyers, journalists or influencersmust absolutely start an amplification project on social and digital distribution platforms.

Some examples are the Gucci TV series, Miuccia Prada's live interview e Raf Simons during their debut together, from the avatar of GCDS at augmented reality of Khaite, from Balenciaga video game at creative box by Loewe and JW Andersoneverything is designed to entertain, to amplify, to carve out a moment of attention for those who can appreciate fashion design.

- One year of covid - fashion design, what has changed - 3

Be A Designer. Let's create your Fashion Brand together, discover our operational partnership ???> DISCOVER

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>

 

One year after the start of the pandemic is there a new sensitivity in the fashion industry?

There is a growing demand for an more sustainable with the direct consequence of?adoption of new business models by some realities.

First and foremost is the pre-orderpractice that causes a brand to produce its products only after selling them to the end consumer. It has done so Telfar Clemens, a young New York designer who, after seeing demand for his Bushwick Bags (+282% on Stylighy), preferred to ask his fans to wait a few months rather than expand his production facility, aware of the maintenance costs he had to face in times of crisis. But more and more small and medium-sized Italian companies are also doing this, combining it with a social strategy requiring less economic investment than traditional marketing but a strong digitalisation and creative attitude.

The initiatives of upcyclingpractice of reusing waste materials. Also known as "creative reuse"Many big names will experience this over the course of the year, including Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Prada, ByFar, JW Anderson, Aspesi, Desigual, Converse, Levi?s.

Also growing, and by a lot, is the market for the second hand and the vintagewith a forecast to double the volume of fast fashion by 2029.

 
- One year of covid - fashion design, what has changed - 4

Be A Designer. Let's create your Fashion Brand together, discover our operational partnership ???> DISCOVER

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>


Best-selling products during the pandemic

The big online search platforms set three major trends in the style of 2020. The first part of the lockdown saw a surge of leisurewear, the comfortable garment that has gained wide space in the wardrobe. According to Stylight, research by loungewear brands such as Asceno and F.R.S. grew by 56%while Lyst reported the stellar numbers of masks and overallsrespectively increased by 502% and 104%.


The power of streetwear

But most successful collaborations are still the ones that put together ready-to-wear e streetwear. Le trainers take the lead. In Stylight's research the new ones from Adidas and Prada stand out, this time for Red LineRick Owens' collection for Moncler Genius and in first place the Air Diorlaunched during the summer and described as the high point of the mixing of the two worlds.

Read also: Fashion Business and Fashion Industry - Communication 2.0 strategies - starting with storytelling ??>

 

How we bought during quarantine

Digital sales climb the charts with a growth of +22%. This benefits large e-tailer (online retailers), but also smaller companies experimenting with direct sales and digital marketing.

I physical shopsInstead, they suffer from the closures and the lack of tourists. There are many initiatives to secure the stores, first and foremost the possibility of making an appointment to make shopping without crowdsbut also to redesign their role in the future: with the social shoppingmade possible by online appointments in which purchase is mixed with entertainment, one can focus on the experience, which make the shop more and more an exclusive place.

 

In the coming days, the following will be published in-depth articles on digital methods for the fashion communication e what the future will be and the best strategies to adopt towards the new Fashion Design Core Business.

Stay connected with Be A Designerthe agency that creates the fashion brand from design to distribution.

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