Will the new trend be pajamas or will fashion still survive?
Like almost all industries, the coronavirus pandemic has also affected the global textile industry. Reduced demand has already been reported due to supply chain problems, restrictions on movement and closure of shops, canceled or postponed fairs and fashion and textile events, and even New York Fashion Week and similar events in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and Beijing have been called into question, while Bridal Fashion Week turned to virtual fashion shows. Fashion brands - Chanel, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Versace - have canceled their fall collections, and have temporarily suspended operations at some of their plants.
Many, even luxury brands, have turned to mass production, primarily of items for protecting healthcare professionals and the general public. Louis Vuitton, H&M and other brands made masks, Nike developed protective gear and Armani suits for medical workers. Armani has also donated € 1 million to hospitals in Milan and Rome, and Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, and LVMH have donated more than € 2 million to coronavirus research.
The "Fashion Empire", as the second strongest industry in the Italian economy, is the most affected. With revenue of € 300 billion a year, the epidemic is affecting 2.2 million companies and seven million employees. The media reports that the “made in Italy” sector will have 50% less revenue in 2020.
According to Angelo Flaccavento, a fashion critic and journalist at Business of Fashion magazine, reported by buro247.com, Italy is also the only place in the world where ancient skills have evolved into unique modes of production. "We could easily go back to small workshops and small-scale production too - and that makes me happy. Creativity and authenticity have never disappeared in Italy, even in the most difficult times like the 1950s and early 1980s. Creativity will not die out now also, it is our national treasure. The collections of great designers will be smaller, but their messages will be stronger,” Flaccavento said.
This is actually the message of the greatest Italian fashion designers. Giorgio Armani said that it is immoral to change trends quickly for increased sales and profits. "Luxury cannot be transient. It doesn't make sense to design clothes that will only be in the shop for three weeks and then replace them with new similar things. ", the fashion designer wrote for WWD magazine.
Although the world's most fashion centers are in fear, countries that depend on the production of clothing should not be forgotten. Bangladesh, after China, is the largest manufacturer of clothing for brands in the West and more than 80% of its exports are made by the textile industry. With orders worth up to $ 3 billion canceled or postponed and exports plummeting by as much as 84% in April, local factories are willing to reduce the contract price by up to 50%. Many stores around the globe are still closed, unsold goods are in storage, advertising campaigns have been suspended.
Still, this industry is encouraged by the image that toured the world when, after the quarantine was canceled, the Chinese rushed to clothing, household items and luxury goods stores. The French Hermès, known for its headscarves and bags, earned a whopping $ 2.7 million in Guangzhou in just one day.
Coronavirus has also introduced new trends. Many now find themselves at home, and because of working from “the living room”, brands are promoting pajamas and bathrobes. Some European fashion companies have already reorganized their businesses and turned to mass production, so Bulgari produces a disinfectant gel for fans of popular perfumes.
According to a fashion designer Jelena Atanaskovic, founder of the Yeya “rule” brand, Covid-19 did bring an economic decline in the textile industry, as it usually happens during a global crisis. "However, I also think this the moment of quality wins over quantity. Now is the time to decide what we want to give out and how to create the best in ourselves. So, this could be productive at all levels, because "selling" is one segment of the process in all industries, including textiles. I think the time of "instant" fashion will go "bankrupt" and finally, timeless pieces and authenticity will occupy many cleaned-up wardrobes. I also see this as a milestone in raising awareness that the brand is not created by an influencer, but a character of the creator, so in that sense, what should survive will regenerate as well. I would definitely send a message to the region to support the domestic fashion industry because now is the moment to show solidarity and support in this small "casket" so that we can turn to the world again later," Jelena Atanaskovic said.
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