Of all the industries to be hit by the pandemic, the fashion industry is arguably one of the most severely affected. While the industry is doing its utmost to adapt to the changing times, the central tenet of fashion – that is, designers enlisting models to show off their creations to crowds – has historically required audiences and in-person events to truly shine. There will, of course, be a fashion industry once the Covid pandemic dust settles, but it will likely look and feel completely different from the one that existed prior to the pandemic’s onset. Here’s how we think the fashion industry will look after the pandemic.
Fashion Weeks will change
Right now, the major four fashion weeks – London, Milan, Paris, and New York – are in a bit of a tailspin around Covid. They’re having to adapt to a world that doesn’t accommodate large-scale events, but as four of the highest-grossing events in the fashion world, that’s been tough. Don’t take our word for it – have a look at this infographic research from Betway for more on their significance in the fashion world.
If they want to keep up, Fashion Weeks will need to embrace the digital side of their culture, as London has recently done.
Lower-cost fashions will rule
We’re all spending less money as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of that, expect lower-cost fashions to rule supreme rather than the haute couture bespoke outfits that often dominate the industry. The rise of “fast fashion” has only been exponentially sped up due to Covid; shoppers aren’t frequenting bigger-brand stores, they’re mainly focusing on less expensive alternatives, and the fashion industry’s designers will have to rise to meet that challenge. Expect simpler, less costly fashions to come from designers in the future.
Sustainable eco-fashion will grow
There’s a school of thought that suggests Covid will pave the way for a more sustainable, more eco-friendly fashion industry. The first fur-free London Fashion Week only took place in 2018, so it’s clear that in some respects, the fashion industry is somewhat behind the times. However, in the wake of how Covid-19 has affected emissions, it’s become clear that global warming and climate change are problems we can impact. That’s why it’s likely the fashion industry will make moves to create a more sustainable environment for itself after Covid.
We’ll buy fewer clothes, but take better care of them
Thanks to a shift in the way we travel, work, and socialise, we’re likely to buy fewer clothes during the Covid pandemic. We already have some evidence that shoppers are thinking more carefully about purchasing choices rather than simply going on clothing spending sprees, and it’s likely post-Covid fashion will reflect that, too. People will opt for simple outfits that they don’t deviate from too often, rather than trying to accessorise and outspend themselves in the fashion department. Of course, the industry can change to accommodate this, but it’ll spell a problem for more outré clothing makers.
We’ll emphasize comfort
Many people are changing their focus from looking good to feeling good during the pandemic. This is partly driven by an increase in working from home, but it’s also because fewer of us are able to socialise with our friends, so we don’t pay as much attention to our external appearance. Fashion may change so that it’s less restrictive or uncomfortable, allowing us to wear what we like without making ourselves feel bad in the process. Celebrities like Billie Eilish are already leading the charge towards a more comfort-oriented style of dress, so expect that to continue post-Covid.
Digital fashion shows are here to stay
When the pandemic does wane, that doesn’t mean digital fashion shows will disappear. Many potential audience members still won’t feel comfortable enough to attend shows in person, especially if they have big audiences. That means we can expect to see the major Fashion Week shows – London, Paris, Milan, and New York – at least establishing some kind of more permanent digital presence. It may be that they hold in-person shows and then stream them to viewers who don’t want to attend in person, but whatever happens, we won’t see the end of digital shows.
Fashion will continue
Whatever else happens, you can rest assured that there definitely will still be a post-Covid fashion industry. Several branches of the industry might be taking something of a beating at the moment, but they’ll bounce back stronger. People will always want to look stylish and fashionable, and while the manner in which they choose to do so may change, you can still expect fashion to continue being an important factor in many people’s lives. Major fashion designers haven’t ceased working during the pandemic; fashion shows have continued, and designers are still creating unforgettable pieces.
The virus will change everything
Just like in every other sector, the Covid-19 virus is likely to change everything about the fashion industry, whether it’s in a small or big way. There are many ways in which the industry will change that we simply can’t predict; whatever happens, there will be fashion, but it could be so unrecognisable as an industry that many insiders need to change their behaviour. Whatever happens, we’re excited to see what the future of fashion holds; for models, designers, and show-runners alike, it’s an interesting time to be part of the industry.