The show must go on…or not? The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the fashion industry forever. How? For one, brands are abandoning traditional schedules. Many haute couture brands decided to decrease their collections and shows. From now on, Gucci will only come up with a new collection twice a year. Arrivederci, pre-collections! Other fashion houses also limit the number of shows to two, cancelling all pre-collections, in-between seasons and other shows. The excess, the many shows with frenzied sets, was an untenable system. Belgian fashion house Natan has committed to designing creations that are more timeless. No fast fashion, but sustainable fashion that’s classy and timeless.
Will the fashion world return to its old habits after Covid-19? Fashion weeks will certainly look different. That became immediately obvious when travel restrictions were put in place. The time to travel around the world for extravagant shows is over. For some luxury brands, Covid-19 has simply prompted a shift in medium, rather than a reset, with many participating in digital fashion weeks. Dior was among the first major fashion houses to announce it would go ahead with its couture show with a ‘special approach’ (digital show).
But whatever the major brands decide, this change gives way to smaller designers. Smaller brands don’t need to stick to the traditional fashion calendar anymore to be seen or sold by major retailers. These major changes can benefit customers too. The worldwide overconsumption causes millions of tons of garment waste each year. More and more people are aware of this. Even younger generations are making more conscious decisions. They don’t need a new outfit each month. Less is more. Clothes need to last, be sustainable and timeless.
Global signs of change: this time is calling for us to produce and consume less. Much less. It is an opportunity for brands to rethink how they operate, also post Covid-19. Will they seize that opportunity or revert back to normal? It’s for them to decide. But we hope that this pandemic, this surreal period we’re facing, will lead to a more sustainable and flexible fashion industry.