In mid March 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic caused a “New York on Pause” Shelter in Place, Social distancing between 1 and a half to 2-meters and everyone must wear a mask unfamiliar world. Businesses had to close (except essential ones, like food and medicine) over 3 million New Yorkers became unemployed, and major fashion retail chains either filed for bankruptcy or closed for good completely.
The Corona pandemic has plunged the global economy into a recessive contraction not seen since World War II. Every sector of industry have suffered, especially fashion. Between January and March 2020 fashion, luxury items and apparel have fell roughly 40% and is predicted to shrink further due to millions of job losses and economic hardship for consumers. Domestic and global fashion companies have begun to go bankrupt, with more expected in the coming months.
With little or no disposable cash, consumers concentrate spending on the “essentials” furthers the fashion industries woes. According to a Mckinsey & Company report: “Even online sales have declined 15 to 25 percent in China, 5 to 20 percent across Europe, and 30 to 40 percent in the United States.”
Consumers are rapidly shifting from “fast fashion” to a more “purpose driven, sustainable action” and transparency in their “quarantine of consumption”. Some of these shifts could include a more digital presence (which is already happening), the decline of wholesale and a switch to “seasonless design” releases.
Established fashion brands as well as emerging designers has dived deeply into mask making to donate to front-line workers (to stay relevant) or to sell online to raise much needed revenue to stay afloat (as well as plugging their brands), as they wait for the dust to settle from the Covid-19 crisis. Influencers are left with no direction and sensing their decline (or even their extinction) in a post Covid-19 world.
What will be the state of the fashion landscape look like after Covid-19 times?
Your guess is as good as mine. For now we have no choice but to wait, watch and see.