After late February (and a very watered down Fashion Week) in 2020, New York Fashion (and fashion houses across the globe) started to feel and see a very scary paradigm shift in the fashion industry. Chinese luxury buyers started to spend less, luxury and retail stores began to see less foot traffic, and income and profits went from a crawl to a stand still. All in the wake of Covid-19! With major retail brands cancelling (not paying for garment orders) orders for Spring/Summer 2020 and leaving factory worker without pay (and warehouses filled with orders that they can’t ship) has added another problem, on top of fashion shows from major designers being cancelled worldwide.
Many have been wondering “when are things going back to normal?” with no answer in sight, due to the fact that there is no going back to normal as the old model came crashing down around the whole fashion industry. This is the “Fashion Apocalypse” that no one saw coming! Leaving designers and fashion houses to re-think and re-imagine new digital business and marketing strategies in a post Covid-19 world.
“Retail shops are shutting down while e-commerce sites are overloading—and in some cases crashing—from so many virtual orders. Face masks (both the N-95 kind and the non medical grade cloth fashion street wear ones) are in high demand.”
Major Fashion shows around the globe had to be cancelled or “postponed” , and in some cases provide a fashion show format online. Giorgio Armani barred a public show in Milan in the midst of the outbreak in late February (but provided an online viewing).
The future of fashion in a post Covid-19 world will be Digital Catwalks and Virtual Fashion Shows. “COVID-19 is forcing brands to engage and experiment with immersive technologies. we’ve been inundated with requests on how to create virtual clothing, virtual clothing, virtual catwalks and virtual showrooms.” Said Matthew Drinkwater , head of Fashion innovation Agency (SIA), in Forbes.