The indiscriminate and inextricable virus which is COVID-19(also known as the
Coronavirus), has wrecked unimaginable and irreversible damages. The
worldwide pandemic which has ensued has affect millions of people across the
world in so many ways it would be impossible to list them all. Loved ones have
been lost, Jobs have been lost and lives have been forever changed in a
manner which the world has never truly seen.
Additionally, COVID-19 has affected businesses and the entire working world so
deeply that many will be feeling its affects for years to come. Across sectors,
there has been nowhere to hide from COVID and its consequences both direct
and indirect. Schools have been closed, Universities have had to makes the
rapid and untimely switch to online classes, lower league sports club will
potentially be facing administration due to the lack of income from the premature
end of their season, and whole industries have had to vastly rework how they
operate. The effects have been wholly indiscriminate, and the fashion industry
has been no different.
Stores have had to close, completely shutting off a key source of revenue for
many designers and outlets. Paris, Milan and London have each had to cancel
their Summer Collection Men’s Fashion Weeks. Companies’ ability to produce
clothes and then distribute has been severely subdued, if not altogether
compromised. And for consumers, some may have purchased outfits for a
specific occasions which they may not be receiving refunds for, outfits which
they expected within a week may be taking up to a month to reach them. All
aspects of the industry have been dealt a heavy blow. Powerhouses, such as
Nike and Jordan Brand, have had to push back and, in some cases, indefinitely
postpone releases. Not only hurting their own pockets but ruining, the plans and
aspirations of sneakerheads all over the world.
What’s clear, is the industry has been monumentally affected by this virus and
its by-products. But even if just for a second let us sit back and theorize, what, if
anything, is the fix? I think within the world of fashion there are a few practices
which already exist, which we may see expanded to help industry during this
time and in the future. We’re probable going to see an even greater shift towards
online based shopping.
The world of online shopping has grown bigger and bigger over the past decade. With the present state of affairs some companies have been able to stay afloat on the strength of their online presence alone. Whereas, large companies like Primark, who have famously had no online presence, have suffered a great hit during this time. Thus, its almost inevitable that during this current time and moving forward even into a post-coronavirus world, we can expect companies to even further prioritize their online presence, thereby providing consumers with greater security and safety whilst engaging with their favourite brands.
Another measure we may see companies take up, is some form of buy now pay later scheme, as we have seen used sparingly across the industry. In this time of vast uncertainty, a lot of typical consumers will have lost jobs, had pay reduced or may just generally not have as much income as they do typically. This may be a trend which continues long after this present period of COVID inspired lockdown and quarantine. As such, it would be smart for organizations to potentially plan for this and create ways for their consumers to still engage with their products and still feel appreciated by their favourite designers and brands.
Ultimately, what’s undeniable is that we’re presently in a situation of epic proportions, the like of which the world has never before seen. It is likely that even after we pass through the present storm, the world will be an entirely different place. And industries, like the fashion world, will have to adjust and alter their practices to fit the new normal, and to my eye, these are just a few ways in which this may manifest itself.