By Alessandra Turra
with contributions from WWD Staff
 on December 21, 2020
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Considered one of the most trying and unpredictable years in decades, 2020 has certainly pushed the fashion industry to question itself, to rethink strategies and procedures. For many designers and executives, so used to logging countless trips across the world every year, this year meant more time at home, fewer social commitments and unprecedented challenges to face, spanning from creating collections remotely to dealing with closed stores.

For many, 2020 meant rediscovering the high value of time. “In this surreal year we have suddenly realized that our time does not exist solely for work, where everything has to be done by yesterday. In this year we were obliged to stop; and so we understood that there must be time for reflection, for regrets, for memories, time to organize shelves and ideas, time for friends and time for time. Time: a concept unknown until 21.02.2020,” said designer Antonio Marras. His comments echoed those of Brunello Cucinelli, who throughout the year penned a series of letters to address what the entrepreneur called “The New Time.”

For others, including Max Mara creative director Ian Griffiths, the troubling year that is coming to an end gave a new meaning to the word acceptance. “This year taught me the importance of enjoying the moment and the process of working for itself, to let it go and that we cannot really be in control of everything,” said the British designer.

Scroll through the gallery to find out what fashion notables, including Gucci chairman and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri, Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri and Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, among others, have learned this year.

“Think big, think abstract, think conceptual” is the new motto of Parley for the Oceans ceo Cyrill Gutsch, who said that in these times we must remain focused on creating a better and more harmonious world for humanity and nature to thrive in. We need to go back to learning from nature,” while Oscar de la Renta ceo Alex Bolen found inspiration in the words of Mike Tyson and Paul McCartney. “It seems difficult to have much useful perspective on the pandemic, as we are still in the midst of it.  While there is clearly ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ it’s still unclear how long this tunnel is. Having said all that, we do find ourselves considering frequently the thoughts of Mike Tyson — ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’ — and Paul McCartney — ‘get by with a little help from my friends.’  Wise words that are a relevant summary of our experiences this year. Despite punches that at certain points felt relentless, we march on, doing what we love to do, ever grateful for our friends. We intend to keep these ideas top of mind even as better days emerge,” he said.

See Also:

How Fashion Ramped Up Activism in 2020

What Fashion Brands Can Learn From Mattel and Toys

Words of Wisdom: Beauty Execs’ Key Learnings From 2020