The COVID-19 pandemic is effecting the fashion industry from every angle and severely impacting all of the global fashion capitals even predictably causing the decline of 600 billion dollars in sales, and whilst it’s not the end in sight, there is an opportunity to rethink and reset the way in which we all work and show our collections.
From the onset of this crisis, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and British Fashion Council have been in close encounters trying to figure out the best solution, sharing feedback from their members and stakeholders.
The BFC and CFDA can share the common perspectives of their members and the organisations.
The British Fashion Council stated “we are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level. We are listening to many conversations taking place. These changes have been overdue for a while, and the fallout from coronavirus has forced us all to prioritise the process of rethinking how our industry should function”.
They even took this further along by declaring they encourage all of their brands, designers and retailers, used to the fast fashion, , to slow down. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers have to also focus on looking at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them.
Then American Council of Fashion designer announced that “their is a clear disconnect from when things arrive in-store to when the customer actually needs them, so believing the delivery cadence should shift closer to the season for which it is intended”.
They also strongly recommend designers to focus on no more than two main collections a year.As CFDA strongly believe that this can provide their talents with the time they need to reconnect to the creativity and craft that makes the fashion industry so unique in the first place. A slower pace also offers an opportunity to reduce the stress levels of designers and their teams, which in turn will have a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of the industry.
CFDA also stated “they understand the commercial need for pre-collections and the need to fulfil the delivery windows of the current pre-collections.” But, also they recommend that these return to their original intended purpose, which was to offer the consumer beautiful clothes that carry the ethos of the individual brands but are not necessarily sufficiently fashion forward to warrant a show.
Also believing this crisis is over and non-virtual events can resume, they recommending that brands to show during the regular fashion calendar and in one of the global fashion capitals in order to avoid the strain on buyers and journalists travelling constantly. This too has placed tremendous stress on the industry and significantly increased each individual’s carbon footprint.
Then their is the infamous topic of sustainability playing a vital and important conversation in every industry. Through the creation of less product, with higher levels of creativity and quality, products will be valued and their shelf life will increase. The focus on creativity and quality of products, reduction in travel and focus on sustainability (something we encourage of the entire industry) will increase the consumer’s respect and ultimately their greater enjoyment in the products that we create.
And lastly physical in-person presentations are likely impossible, the fashion councils will nevertheless focus on creating fashion calendars and other formats that will highlight and help to organise the virtual presentations for the Spring Summer collections.
The need to align as a global industry during these times has become more apparent. We will continue to work side-by-side, while each city will develop its own local initiatives. Fashion is a business of creativity and new ideas and difficult times are also ones for innovation. We will work to our industry’s benefit as we reimagine and create, with our members and partners, a successful future.
We all understand the difficulties that all of you are going through in this devastating time and are here to help you and provide information in any way that we can.