The fashion bubble has burst — and it’s time for a kinder more cost-efficient era.
That’s the consensus among industry executives who are pressing pause and looking at this time as an opportunity to re-evaluate and fix the flaws in an unrealistically fast-paced system.
They’re rethinking the wholesale model and the often detrimental payment terms imposed by retailers on brands; about putting an end to excessive gifting or unnecessary sample trafficking, and about defining a clear purpose that consumers can relate to. They want fewer, better-edited collections and less time spent on travel.
“Now is the time to sit down and look at the monster our industry has created,” said Maria Kastani, whose namesake business acts as an incubator for young companies, providing sales, branding and design consultancy services. “People have been under this impression that they need to shop constantly, wear all the latest items and never wear something twice. This created huge egos, a lot of anxiety, unkindness and a model that’s completely unsustainable.”
Fashion communications professionals, too, will be looking to make changes, adding a new vertical to their strategies for brands: Kindness. Indeed, they may look to pour as much effort into relationship-building, charitable initiatives and spiritual connection as they do into driving sales.
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As enamored as she is with IRL fashion shows, Iris Van Herpen began preparing for a leap into virtual reality two years ago.
The Dutch couturier is designing her fall 2020 couture collection, and concurrently is plotting an “immersive virtual reality experience” that will allow a broader audience to discover her otherworldly creations.
"I think this is a really important moment for all of us. It will really create a shift in the choices we’ll make, in the way we produce, the way we travel, the way we do our shows, the way we do our shoots. I think the focus on sustainability is going to become bigger and bigger," Herpen said.
"I really hope we can bring some of that into a VR experience, where people really can be in the atelier with us for a moment and see the evolution of a garment that is growing in front of their eyes. I think we’ve just started to see the possibilities," the designer continued.
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Report: Miles Socha
A Common Thread grant application process opened today.
A Common Thread, spearheaded by the @CFDA and @Voguemagazine to raise awareness and funds for the American fashion community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, began accepting grant applications today, starting at 8 a.m. Application forms are available on the CFDA web site.
Applicants do not have to be a CFDA member or a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist. Anyone in the fashion industry who has been in business for over two years may apply. Grants made by A Common Thread will target small to medium-size businesses including designers, retailers, factories, and other fashion companies.
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