• Saturday, August 8, 2020

luxury fashion COVID

State of the Luxury Fashion Union
July 15, 2020
By , Writer & Social Media Manager

WHERE DOES LUXURY FASHION STAND IN OUR NEW REALITY?

Around this time, the world’s fashion capitals would be crawling with fashionistas scrambling to get from the Dior show to the Chanel afterparty. Unfortunately, this year, it’ll have to wait. Our dearly beloved Fashion Weeks have been reinvented as innovative social-distancing shows. Over the past few days, fashion brands have revealed their plans for presenting future collections — many without the presence of guests, including Dior’s cruise show in Italy and Burberry’s outdoor presentation. Meanwhile, Fendi is kicking off Milan Fashion Week with a show in Rome with selected guests and digital elements.

Big-name fashion brands have done a full 180 on production: from elegant blazers and scarves to face masks and hand sanitizer. Prada has produced 110,000 masks and climbing, while Gucci said it will make more than a million. The global pandemic is reshaping the economy and impacting how people spend their money, but it hasn’t totally wiped out the luxury sector. According to the leading industry players and expert interviews conducted by Bain & Company, the luxury market is expected to decline by 25% to 30% in the first quarter of 2020. Nonetheless, luxury consumers are still dropping wads of cash on luxury … sweatpants. According to Moda Operandi, searches for “sweats” and “sweatpants” have increased by 50% and 85% respectively, and retailers’ best-selling items now fall under the “leisurewear” category. The combination of having nowhere to go and no one to impress has made us put jeans in the back of the closet and reach for our sweatpants.

Traditional luxury brands have tried to steer away from e-commerce, fearing online retailing would weaken their image and reduce their sense of exclusivity. But now with stores closed and customers expecting their favorite brands to be available online, companies have been forced to change strategies and embrace it. With brands like LVMH, Fendi and Chanel now experimenting with online sales, e-commerce is expected to make up 18% of luxury good sales by 2025. Without the saving grace of online retail, luxury sales would have plummeted due to COVID-19. Chanel’s chief financial officer recently said, “We anticipate that the external environment will continue to impact the luxury sector negatively for at least the next 18 to 24 months.” Chanel is reducing advertising and promotions by more than a quarter, is cutting production, and has cancelled or reinvented events like fashion shows by streaming them online.

Style reminds us a little of love: Even when you try, you just can’t stop it. Although luxury fashion is taking a bit of a pause, our favorite designers are diligently working to stay up to date with our leisure home attire and innovating our favorite catwalk shows.