The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a major hit in the fashion industry. It’s sudden
spread shook the economy, forcing every aspect of the business to rethink and re-strategize their operations; sometimes exploiting their own workers affiliated to unions.
In Paris, one of the biggest fashion hubs in the world, fashion events such as Premiere Vision have been “cancelled” due to health and security regulations. This effect has since caused all brands, retailers, and agencies to focus on their digital presence rather than a face-to-face business. Companies have/are switching to digital showrooms, trade shows, and e-commerce stores. This allows the brands to do comfortable B2B and B2C transactions without leaving their home or office.
A lot of fashion brands have even added an essential accessory to their collections: face
masks. When the pandemic got worse during the lockdowns, these brands needed to find a way to connect with their home-based customers in a different way. Lifestyle and sportswear sales were going up, but medium to high-end luxury sales were going down. This provided a chance for their loyal customers to shop for something that is needed and with their label on it.
As we continue fighting this virus, we will see a shift in consumer behavior. According to the company, Heuritech, “there has been a 70% increase in mobile traffic on Instagram.” But this didn’t necessarily mean that luxury brands were doing well. In fact, they saw an even greater loss as influencers were quarantined at home. This caused people on social media to come up with creative ways of creating lockdown themed content.
The future of fashion has been a major topic for years. However, COVID-19 has turned it upside down and has now, more than ever, put more pressure on the future of fashion in our digital age. We are seeing a shift and in a positive way. It’s a daunting time for many brands, especially newer ones, but all hope is not lost. We will get through these trying times as an industry together by taking the time to step back and think about the industry's impact on this earth in a more digital and sustainable way.
Founder & CEO of OUIBRIDGE
Image from Vogue Runway