How will the COVID-19 coronavirus affect fashion? It is the big question that great designers and brands ask themselves. In a moment of crisis as dramatic as the current one where fear of contagion takes over us and where economic and social uncertainty reigns, it is difficult to answer this question.
A crisis is needed to form a tactic and fashion is no exception. Some of the best designs were born out of the fight. Coco Chanel created women’s haute couture pieces from foraged fabrics when materials were scarce during the First World War period, such as men’s jersey underwear. This led to a major change in the way women dressed, from sober corsets to comfortable clothing. Chanel became the innovative brand for winning women.
WILL THE MASK BE TRENDING NEXT MONTHS?
During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, surgical masks became a staple used at all times both indoors and outdoors due to their essential protection. More than a century later we find ourselves on the same stage. Everything seems to point to the fact that the masks will accompany us for a long time and it is not surprising that many brands emerge where they impregnate creativity and the trend in this type of elements whose main effect is to avoid contagion. It will undoubtedly be a way to “normalize” the use of this protection in our lives.
REUSE AS A DIFFERENTIATING ELEMENT
The escapist fashion of the 1930s and 1940s originated in a time of political turmoil and future uncertainty. Restricted to repair and reuse, creative reconstruction efforts became forms of expression during these times of confinement.
Everything indicates that after this health crisis there will come another social and, above all, economic crisis. At that point, the reuse of clothing and the repair of fashion products that we thought to eliminate from our wardrobe play a fundamental role.
Many experts point out that this summer we will see the streets full of true creativity in fashion since this confinement is discovering in many citizens its most creative side.
QUALITY AGAINST QUANTITY
The crisis we are in now will undoubtedly initiate a change in the way we interpret fashion. Like the effect of world wars and past pandemics, we too will have to focus on quality over quantity, practicality over vanity.
This is a wake-up call both for consumers and for the industry in general. The threat this pandemic has over our heads is a call to action for the fashion industry to slow down, move away from mass production and change direction, before an even bigger problem arises.
Sara Maino, deputy editor in chief of Vogue Italy and director of Vogue Talents, recently stated: “We have not respected the planet until now and somehow this [pandemic] is a message and unfortunately it is a very, very heavy message. Change had to be made. Everyone thought change would happen gradually, but that is not the case. Change has to be done now, and quickly. “(Vogue, 2020). With so many minds united in a sense of camaraderie and, for once , the time in our hands, the lock has offered us the opportunity to return to our drawing boards.
Although there are still no official reports on the effect of the COVI-19 pandemic on fashion, everything points to an uncertainty, especially in the face of autumn / winter 2020/21 and summer 2021. One third of the planet, currently , is confined to their homes. The industry is stopped or in hibernation. The dependence of some countries on others for the supply of products or materials causes confusion about the trends of the coming seasons.
There is already talk of a reindustrialization of countries where the production of fashion and materials was diverted to countries where it was faster and cheaper to produce. Now, there is a need for a resurgence of manufacturing in the countries of origin in order not to have that absolute dependence on third countries. A fact that will be very well received by local manufacturers who in recent years have seen their business decline.
To face this crisis in the sector, it is essential to raise awareness of the value of the national product, invest in training and recover lost trades. It is an in-depth approach.
AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
Without a doubt, no one dares to make statements about what will happen to the fashion sector. Although it is currently immersed in a deep crisis, it is true that this pandemic is emerging many other benefits for the sector such as future local manufacturing, slow fashion, traditional manufacturing and, undoubtedly, online sales. If something very good for the industry has had this pandemic, it is that citizens are losing their fear of buying online. This fact will guarantee in the coming years a notable increase in sales in electronic commerce. Is the industry prepared for all the changes that await us?