Coronavirus – the one word that’s trending across the world is creating a buzz in the fashion industry too. Every profession is turning to a work-from-home or remote operations model. That’s leading to the question of what would be the future of fashion post the pandemic. So, here’s how the pandemic would change the world of fashion post-COVID-19.
A lot of high profile fashion events, including the Met Gala is canceled, and the organizers are yet to make a formal announcement on the new date. This event is also famous as the Oscars of the retail fashion industry. However, this year did not create a lot of enthusiasm and had to be canceled.
This, despite the designers going that extra mile and coming up within the vogue accessories like crystal-studded face masks and gloves for the models. All this creates a big vacuum in the economy of the fashion industry.
Every year thousands of people find employment around these fashion events and galas, and millions of dollars are spent and earned. But this year, the industry has seen a never before economic downfall and unemployment.
The need for sustainability
The dialogue around sustainability in fashion has been around for a few years now. However, the dogma usually was about recycling the fabric or eco-friendly fashion.
Celebrities were lauded when they wore the same dress twice in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. The usual practice is to ship clothes and accessories from across the globe for the celebrity to wear at the event. However, the pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift. The sustainability of local artists, their survival post the pandemic, and supporting local artists will be the approach to fashion in the days to come.
From Global to Local
Many celebrities walking down the red carpet, the multiple regions where the event happens, flying in clothes, accessories, and models from across the world might go down. When Italy and China, the hub of fashion and accessories, are shut down to flatten the coronavirus curve, the world saw the first glimpse of it.
With the pandemic continuing to create havoc around the world and the possibility that a vaccine or cure might not be available until the fall of 2021, fashion galas might be on a pause. This will thus serve as a window for the local markets and artists to find a platform for their work. They will be able to generate demand for their work as shipping in products from other countries is on halt tentatively. Celebrities are already rooting for this. However, this is not just a way to reduce the carbon footprint from importing goods, but also as a way to support local designers.
The Digital Transformation
Even if countries were to organize such events, much of it would be an internet-based event, as the E3 for gamers, which is happening online this year. This will be an attempt to avoid the gathering of a vast number of people in one closed space. Not to forget the international travel that comes in while attending these events.
Shanghai Fashion Week has already taken upon this trend and hosted the entire event online. Partnering with Alibaba, the event was able to reach out to a wider audience by switching to a live stream. In this era of AI and VR, and with the forced norms of social distancing, it only makes sense for designers to embrace the digital transformation.
The Economic Impact
The economic impact of events going online or the pandemic is high. There is a drop in expenditure on massive sets, food, acoustics, flight expenditure, costs of models, guests, the paparazzi, marketing, etc. However, this also means that there is a loss of jobs and, thus, a recession in the market. Experts believe that the buying pattern of the fashion connoisseur will also change post this lockdown. They think that the switch will be towards buying fewer and cheaper clothes over the expensive ones.
One of the reasons for this could be the cancelation of events. This, apart from the disruption in the supply chain, will see a rise in the revival of vintage fashion. It will thus lead to a trend of celebrities rewarding their clothes for multiple occasions. In short, the inflow of money will be less in the fashion industry.
Every industry is facing an impact of the pandemic, and the digital disruption is taking over. Experts believe that a lot of fashion brands we know will disappear in the post lockdown era and pave the way for newer brands. The changing dialogue of sustainability will force people to rethink their fashion choices. In short, fashion and red carpet will never be the same again!