The future looks uncertain since many of the infected countries are living in the lockdown period. Despite the absence of a clear end-date for the novel coronavirus pandemic, the latest indications are that social distancing will last until a vaccine is available, which is predicted to take 12-18 months.
The fashion industry’s predictive, seasonal systems have long been labeled out-of-date, broken, and wasteful, with the consequences piling up in landfills around the world. When the leading brand owners and retailers were contacted to know their response about the uncertainty prevailing during the recent time, Matthew Drinkwater, Head of the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA), London, came forth. According to him, the workload of his team members rose in this time of crisis. He further stated, “COVID-19 is forcing brands to engage and experiment with immersive technologies. We’ve been inundated with requests on how to create virtual clothing, virtual catwalks and virtual showrooms.”
How Advanced technologies are Driving the Fashion Industry?
Several fashion industry experts are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They believe this is the golden opportunity to revamp the business model. Drinkwater furthermore added, “This is an opportunity to redefine business models and build a more sustainable, progressive future” for the fashion industry. As a team of fashion and technology pioneers whose remit is to create fashion and technology ‘firsts,’ so the requirement to integrate all forms of digitization from supply chain and creation, to showcasing and retailing is forcing every brand to embrace the technologies that empower this.”
Social distancing and self-isolation are preventing designers from working closely with manufacturers and, therefore, have inevitably turned away digital and virtual fashion. The current situation has proven how fragile, especially the financial system, is of the industry. But there are fashion houses that were too efficient to foresee the need for changing trend and had already immersed themselves in the advanced technology. One example to support this notion is The Fabricant, a fashion company that only produces digital clothing. In their latest work for outdoor lifestyle brand Napapijri, The Fabricant created digital clothing samples in place of physical ones, eliminating textile waste and creating stunning online content in the process.
Several manufacturers and retailers fear how the consumer will respond to their product. This a problem that can be catered with simple logic, as Kerry Murphy, owner of The Fabricant, explains. He says, “consumers react to what brands and retailers put out there to be consumed, and behavioral change will depend on new experiences, like digital fashion, being adopted by brands.” The Fabricant’s new LEELA platform, now in beta, is the first big step towards this. Murphy admits, however, that it was put out there regardless of its level of readiness so that they could begin engaging with early adopters and enthusiasts.
The lockdown of retail stores worldwide has not only slashed consumer spending but prompted new questions over purchasing behavior for non-essential items in a time of crisis. Katie Baron-Cox, Director of Brand Engagement at retail intelligence agency Stylus, suggests that “Generosity of service will become a key new metric for brands. Consumers will prefer access, connections, insights, and rarity, in place of discounts on lots of ‘stuff,’ although discounts will still have a place as we are likely to be moving into a vast global recession.”
In a nutshell, digital fashion is gradually gaining people’s attention, yet we need to take more significant steps to ensure that this becomes our future. Numerous experts believe after the end of coronavirus pandemic, virtual catwalks, and Digital Fashion would be driving the fashion industry. We, at iDesigniBuy, offer a similar set of modern solutions to the fashion brands that wish to flourish in the technology-driven market.
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