Fashion according to the Cambridge dictionary, /ˈfaʃ(ə)n/noun is a style that is popular at a particulartime, especially in clothes, hair, make-up, etc. Certainly these are particular times, so with this inevitably new fashion trends have arisen. Working from home, new hygiene measures and shift of awareness, but what does this mean for brands and manufacturers?
It is in moments like these in history that we rethink our choices in life and start shifting to a more conscious way of living, where the simple things become more important. With this, consumers changed their approach to shopping. During lockdown, they’ve had time to think about the way they consume, and they now care more about where their clothes come from, which materials they are made of and if it will support the local economy. Moreover, they re-appreciated the value of the local shops and services. Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour states: "I feel very strongly that when we come out at the other end, people's values are really going to have shifted."
This means that sustainable sourcing, ethical production and local craftsmanship will play a bigger role compared to before the pandemic. High quality and long lasting fabrics, such as organic cotton, hemp and silk will be prevalent. The story behind the product will be as important as the product self. Imran Amed, the founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion, tells "The conversation about sustainability and the fashion industry has been going on for a long time now, so this is not a new conversation, but I do think this situation is a great accelerator".
Stay at home-trends
The concept of fashion has changed, comfort is the new black. Cozy sweatpants, sneakers and wide t-shirts; these seem to be the key items for a successful stay at home. Mandatory lockdowns have triggered inevitably a bigger emphasis on loungewear and sportswear as people are working, sporting and relaxing at home.
The most valued element of clothing at the moment is comfort.Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive of Next tells, “No one wants to buy clothes to sit at home in”. Clothes have been worn throughout the years as a statement, to represent a certain group or identity, and to deliver a message. Even though clothing will always remain a symbolization, the need to show off is now slowly disappearing. These shifts of comfort will be also translated into the work environment, where athleisure will be the new suit.
One of the biggest struggles that comes to play in a crisis is unemployment and lower financial acquisition. This has a direct impact on spending habits, and in Europe and the US, more than 65 percent of consumers expect to decrease their spending on apparel, informs the yearly Mckinsey’s The State of Fashion 2020 Coronavirus update. How does this translate to fashion trends? Minimalism.
Yes, you heard it. Consumers are looking for minimalist high quality pieces, and in these uncertain times people don’t want to buy clothing that will fall out of trend in 6 months, but will rather invest in more classical items. The consumer will be thinking twice about what they are buying and how this purchase will benefit them long term. Think of neutral colors, high quality tailored jackets and pants, and shoes that can be versatile for different occasions.
It is essential to listen to the consumer’s needs at this moment. New niches are created and it’s on brands to see this as an opportunity and adapt their strategies. A key element in understanding these new demands is listening and researching new behaviors and changes of lifestyle.
At Manufy we are curious to hear about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your wardrobe style. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us about your experience as a consumer, retailer or manufacturer, and we will feature you in our next article of Better Magazine.