How COVID-19 is impacting the global clothing and fashion industry and measures brands are taking for their comebacks
The past few weeks feel like we have woken to a completely different world from where we have slept. At this point, we are all shaken with a 360-degree turn in our lives because we believe it or not, the world after COVID-19 is going to be different from the world before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global spread of the coronavirus is unremittingly impacting every phase of life and business. As the COVID-19 spreads, so do its effects. Beyond the distressing human cost, industries such as fashion and apparel are also feeling the deep influence due to this global pandemic. Designers are now stuck at a phase where they can neither take a U-turn with their half-designed Spring Summer collections nor take a step ahead. Many small designers and stores are facing substantial concerns and are looking for ways to overcome the challenges.
IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON FASHION
What will buyers want to wear after being stuck in their homes?
Will they spend money on fashion when the economy is in pieces?
What is the future of the fashion community after COVID-19 pandemic is over?
Questions like these are distressing industry leaders and the fashion community as a whole.
1. FASHION STOCKS CRASH
The stock market has witnessed substantial declines in the last month as COVID-19 has rapidly spread across the globe.
2. FASHION WEEK DISORDERS
COVID-19 has hit the fashion capital – Italy just right before the Milan Fashion Week affecting a number of designers to change round their show formats. Many luxury designers have cancelled or postponed their international resort 2021 shows.
3. RETAIL STORES CLOSES
The short term impact will be a fall in apparel sales on account of malls/stores being closed. But the long term impact will hit the catalogues of Spring-Summer collections that have already been planned and the supply chain of the upcoming Autumn Winter which is in the planning action.
MEASURES BRANDS ARE TAKING FOR THEIR COMEBACK
When the COVID-19 crisis declines, it will be difficult for the fashion industry to estimate the fashion for the next few months. Whether after months of living in sweatpants, the buyers will invest in more casual wear? Or tired of the same uniform they will invest in something grandiose?
Right now, survival is the instinct.
1. GOING DIGITAL
DIGITAL IS THE NEW TREND. Brands and events are taking digital as their new normal. New York Bridal Week which was planned for April 16 to 20 has taken the decision to go virtual this time. Many designers are taking Zoom and Join.me platforms to showcase their Spring Summer collections.
2. RE-THINKING SUPPLY CHAIN
Brands are now forced to re-think their supply chain and marketing techniques for loyal customers. A marketing company called Privy is helping small apparel brands to capture and convert website visitors into customers through the community ‘A call to shop small’ which connects more than 1700 small e-commerce stores.
3. RE-EVALUATE MARKETING AND MERCHANDISING PLANS FOR FALL 2020 AND SPRING 2021
Months of halt will not only alter the shape of the recovery for the apparel industry but it will also change the trends and traditions. There will be a huge impact on sourcing and production. During and after the pandemic, the fashion brands will require monitoring sales data, consumer behaviour and merchandising plans for the upcoming fashion seasons.
In a time where the world stands still and social distancing is key, there’s no denying that the pandemic will make even survival a struggle for many brands in the fashion industry. During and after this pandemic, we as a community need to lead the industries with compassion and embark on bold actions to emerge stronger than now.