Before the pandemic hit, the term itself was hardly used or only heard of. As a consequence, the thought of having a global one in 2020 never crossed my mind. With all the impact that Covid-19 had in the economy of the world, it would certainly affect all industries, fashion included. I think that the main impact will be due to the paradigm and the consumer perception toward fashion products.
Main focus for the materials – More Sustainable
Be it menswear or womenswear, it has now all come to one factor: materials. Over the last decade, in a more radical change than before, consumers used to be more organic focused and use environmental-friendly materials like cotton, linen and perhaps even more economic ones. Increases in demand are also an indicator to the new reality awareness. People are more and more prone to ask for more practical outfits, but not necessarily less qualitative ones.
The proverb “I am not rich enough to buy cheap things” might not be known to many but it is now more relevant than ever.
What do we understand by it? It means that the individual will be more prone to buy durable things which may not be cheap, but in the long run it will come out a worthy investment. That is exactly what the proverb says: if low priced products can solve a current need, their poor quality will soon “force” the costumer to spend again or more often in a similar product, but we now know that quantity can be replaced with quality.
Also, most of the above middle class investments will be more about products like accessories and expensive bags, jewelry and shoes, which are also valuable due to the fact that they can be passed on to generations and in some cases investing in bags is compared to investing in real estate properties.
Going back to channeling investments, this type of choice by the costumer helps balancing the whole chain, slightly reducing the demand/consumption and consequently the production which will result in an environmental impact. International brands like Zara or Cos have already created a capsule wardrobe made only from sustainable materials.
The home-wear wardrobe
While adapting to pandemic life, but even before it, the consumers have always put comfort over everything.
Working from home has made stylists design clothes that would be good in the comfort of your home as well as for going outside, always striving for more comfortable materials like more sophisticated pyjamas in wool, silk etc. With this I don’t mean to say that passion for beauty and fashion will fade away. What is now perceived as beautiful is not just about looks, but includes other elements as well.
Even a track suit can be classy if it comes in wool, cashmere etc. Another detail is the seam free method. An element that is becoming more popular is the throw on robe, which is worn outside other garments making them look more appropriate. This, because recently home has turned into a multifunctional space.
The public’s eye has already begun and will continue to switch its attention from high heels to sneakers, from loafers to carpet slippers and for a while people will continue to invest in scarves that double as cover masks.
Big international occurrences like Black Lives Matter (2020) have also shaped the perception of new clothing brands to support it. Society will continue to support new brands from POC or member of the LGBT community. By switching up the mentality a switch in the economy will definitely follow, thus helping investments in new fashion and cosmetic related businesses.
For example we have the & Other Stories brand, which has launched a yoga collection for black women and many other brands have already embraced this type of comfortable style by using sustainable materials.
Rebirth of fashion, materials, interior and home aesthetics
The Return of the 70′
After the French Revolution, political changes paved the way to changes in fashion. Everything related to the aristocracy vanished, including hair powder, different types of hair pins and other valuable accessories. After the Second World War, where provision of clothes and food was scarce, Dior was the first to bring long skirts and corsets, products considered inappropriate during wartime. This makes us understand that every single difficult moment in history was followed by a revolution.
The `70s marked a shift in society and culture, using new technologies and new materials.
Fashion will also affect house interiors. The house had multiple functions, starting from being a safe space, an office, a restaurant… for that reason it is important to have a stylish and comfortable place to make formal calls and official communications. Judging from the colors we’ve seen in the last few years, people are shifting towards a more minimalistic approach, however we also see a tendency to avoid the cold style by maintaining earth colors and giving more light to living spaces which have now become multifunctional.
Maybe we will also see the need for an extra space, one never thought of before, kind of a small office at home. House interiors will see more of a back to nature style, but also the element of an open space, similar to the interior of the 70s: a wide living room and larger space as if not to feel the endless isolation of a lockdown. Also, the use of accessories like room separator or less is more mirrors from Ettore Sottsass and maybe more green areas.
While looking at what is currently happening in the world, we can say that the fashion industry is moving towards inclusion, which means involving society’s needs and appreciating them in offering the best choices. Future products will be synthetic free, chemical free, sustainable and environmental-friendly.
By Borana Baci