The year 2020 has brought with it a disruption in the way the fashion industry operates, forcing the industry to rethink its ways of designing collections.
It would be safe to say that in India, because of its strong domestic demand and consumption finding flavor with the young millennials, the wave is still the best bet for Indian brands and fashion designers alike and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to advocate the fact that nothing is better than just expanding your footprint nationally, now even more than ever. As the world is pushing through these times, there will be a paradigm shift in the way brand advertisements will be positioned in order to remain in an emotionally positive light. In fact, brands will become deeply connected to their most critical resources – employees, customers and other key stakeholders.
The economy will move when we are all buying and selling ‘Made in India’. As designers, it is our moral responsibility to take care of our artisans and craftsmen. The best way to support them is to put their work forward in a creative way which will make it relevant, and people can use and consume the products. With conversations like sustainability and Make in India, interest has also spiked in consumers where they are asking questions and looking at products with a closer eye. This is a positive step in taking care of the artists and artisans we have in India.
With coronavirus hitting the globe with a rash temerity, fashion retail has been badly hit. The business of fashion has been negatively impacted by brands and design houses closing their stores and postponing runway shows. With key events like the Met Gala and the CFDA Awards getting postponed indefinitely and department stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Selfridges and Saks Fifth Avenue shutting their shops, it’s time to delve deeply into the crisis and accordingly predict the future of luxury retail.
During the lockdown, people are learning the importance of resources and must learn to use them more wisely. This shall initiate an inclination towards garments that have more longevity and creative and emotional value; so to speak, the consumer may learn the relevance of mindful, slow fashion goods created with authentic craft techniques by humans and not machines. This shall increase demand for independent designers and young brands for the kind of excitement they create in fashion and those with business models that chase infinite growth through fast fashion may seek redefinition.
Looks like that mindfulness and sustainability would continue to be the keywords in the coming seasons too.
The desire and urgent need to support ‘Make in India’ is stronger than ever before, as each locally made the purchase would mean directly supporting regional weaves, homegrown fashion labels and in turn funding, all the Makers – weavers, tailors, embroiderers, craftspeople sustain a livelihood.
The need of the hour is to mobilize retail and e-commerce support with an aim to boost business and revive endangered weaves and communities.
Designers across the board opine that fashion could not longer afford to overlook the principles of up-cycling and sustainability going ahead.
The pandemic has come as an alarm to realign our goals collectively, aim for a more sustainable way of production and look at consumption with an entirely new perspective.
Value for money is going to be key for the consumer.
As the consumer grows more aware of the role that sustainable fashion can have in helping create a better future, the demand for naturally produced textiles, intricate artisanal hand-work and mindful luxury would see a rise. With this, the people would seek to not only support local craftsmen and small businesses but also curate a wardrobe for themselves that lasts for years of time and remains sufficiently relevant throughout.
Sustainable and eco-conscious fashion will be the one which will see the most spike. We can expect more functional or multi-purpose clothing to take a bigger space in fashion. Value for money will be the mantra for the masses.