“Fashions fade, Style is eternal.”
-Yves Saint Laurent
The 2020 coronavirus outbreak has completely changed the manner of our lifestyle. It has led to the normalization of new trends, like work from home, wearing of clinical masks and of course the dramatic growth in online shopping. With the pandemic spreading and new cases emerging, people have been forced to stay put in their houses. But has it stopped consumers from buying clothes and jewelries? Absolutely not! Online shopping portals have made quite the profit from the COVID crisis.
The thorns in a bed full of roses…
It is a fact that online shopping has gained monumental popularity amid the coronavirus outbreak, but not everything is hunky-dory. The Euromonitor International had predicted that the fashion retail industry would witness a 14% increase in the current year 2020 from the previous year, 2019. However, thanks to the globally acclaimed chaotic virus, that dream seems to be awfully far-fetched. The fashion industry and trends has had a crippling impact on sales worldwide due to covid 19. This can prove to carve a significant impression on customers’ behavior and even style.
Fashion is not dead!
With the outbreak of COVID, there have been few necessary changes made by the fashion industry in terms of showcasing and delivering their designer collections on the runway. According to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, they will be “abandoning the worn-out ritual of seasonality and shows”. He has claimed to make his brand ‘seasonless’, and make the ritualistic fashion calendar obsolete.
Aparna Badlani, the owner of the boutique Atosa, also agrees with the effectiveness of the seasonless fashion trend by saying, “… most of our designers, in my opinion, work on seasonless collections anyway, and it has worked very well”.
Online Shopping: The Dominatrix
COVID or not, cybershopping has been one of the most loved and easiest ways of shopping. We can all agree of being guilty in buying clothes and electronics off the internet from the comfort of our living rooms. But with our mandatory living conditions during COVID, the dependency on online shopping has increased and intensified, and will continue to incline.
Stephanie Phair, Chief Customer Officer at Farfetch, says, “We were already seeing a move to online. Online was by far the highest growth segment of the industry. And because people have been forced to an online world, that will accelerate”.
Almost all of your favourite stores (like H&M, Zara, Mango, Nykaa, Lifestyle etc.) have mobile applications for you to buy from their online portals. This not only allows for you to satisfy your shopping habits but also aids these fashion brands to survive and succeed.
Vintage for sustainability
It is believed that the pandemic might give birth to a more conscious and conscience consumer behaviour on the fashion front.
With that being said, vintage fashion has a huge probability of greeting us with their theatrical entrance in the post-pandemic scene.
The ever so popular vintage style refers to the style and manner of dressing up that mirrors the style of its previous era. For a style to be deemed as vintage, it needs to be manufactured at least 20 years ago.
However, the term ‘vintage’ is different from the term ‘retro’. On one hand where ‘vintage’ refers to a specific (time) period when a dress was made, ‘retro’ refers more to the style based on which the item is made. Clothes which are made to imitate the fashion of the past (from around 20 years ago) are considered to be retro in nature.
Indulging in vintage clothing not only makes you look glamorous and elegant, but buying vintage has amazing positive effects on the environment. It is documented that the vintage clothing industry and the recycled clothing industry have roughly saved over 1 million tons of clothing from getting dumped in the landfills each year.
Like Livia Firth said, “Call it eco fashion if you like. I think it’s just common sense”.
The pandemic (along with global warming) is one of the ways through which our planet Earth has revolted against our exploitative acts. Hence, opting for vintage clothing is a sustainable choice that we as humans must make.
We believe that fashion industry needs to bring back the vintage trend in light of covid 19 as a way of giving back to nature.
Reusing rather than creating new and more garments in bulk can help ecologically. Divya Saini believes that “the culture of vintage in India is growing at a fast pace. Millennials and Gen- Z consumers alike are more aware about the pressing issues that affect the world around them. We are in the anthropocene and every step we take towards our ecosystem matters”.
How revolutions change fashion…
After any kind of a movement or a revolution, the fashion front gets impacted heavily. For example, the world had seen quite a shift in the fashion industry during the World Wars.
With New York emerging as the fashion leader fuelled by new artistic designers popularizing femininity with practicality, various trends were welcomed and set during World War I. As many of the jobs mandated uniforms, the military look came into existence which introduced military-style jackets and epaulets. For women, skirts became shorter, and more sober colours and patterns were introduced.
By World War II, jumpsuits entered as a striking new innovation in the fashion industry. Stockings became an ‘haute couture’ option for women, and corsages began to be worn with black dresses in black tie events.
The war ended, but its influence on fashion remained eternal. The use of tropical prints and exotic floral designs became famous since then.
So, will COVID have such a massive impact on fashion as well…?
COVID’s impact on our wardrobe
People shop for only those clothes that they believe they can wear in the moment. While most of us are entrapped by the lockdown, the novel coronavirus can very well be a new trendsetter when it comes to our wardrobes.
Stephanie Phair already stated that a change in the fashion forefront is bound to happen, and boy was she right! One of the trends that COVID has already commercialized which has taken the fashion industry by a storm is the trikini!
Wondering what in the world is a trikini?
Trikini is the coronavirus inspired summer fashion trend that may just stick around for a while! Tiziana Scaramuzzo, the designer of the Italian brand, Elexia Beachwear, first came up with this innovative design. What started off as a joke by Scaramuzzo, became a viral fashion trend on the internet.
“The idea was born in the house during quarantine to take photos with my children. We didn’t think it would be this successful”. – Tiziana Scaramuzzo
Trikini is a three-part swimwear. It is basically a bikini that comes with a matching, waterproof face mask as a safety measure against the virus. Celebrities, like the popular singer Lizzo have also been captured flaunting this new look.
This invention alone is a strong proof of how fashion can change with the changing times, even if it is amidst a global crisis!
A strange boost in the retail industry
The novel coronavirus has affected our dressing habits to a great extent. With most of the population forced to stay indoors and work from home, there has hardly been any moment or reason for us to dress up and go out to socialize.
According to a Walmart report, there has been a sky-rocketing increase in the sales of tops and shirts and a decrease in bottoms. With virtual meetings and conferences becoming the only way of communication and interacting with people, the necessity in wearing bottoms has seem to evaporate.
Another global fashion platform called Lyst saw an escalation in the sales of lingerie, nightwear and other casual clothing than gaudy dresses.
However, there has been no drop in the sales of formalwear. The urge to look presentable during virtual official meetings has kept the sales high, although the primary focus while buying formal clothes is from the chest up!
The importance of 3D try-ons gets more prominent
As it gets more and more difficult to leave our houses due to the pandemic, we thank technology for the amazing invention of 3D virtual try-ons.
Lenskart, an online eyewear portal, popularized the practice of 3D try-ons. By taking a picture of your face and using it as a 3D realistic model image to try out different spectacles have made shopping for your pair of glasses easier and hassle-free.
CaratLane, an online jewellery platform, has also adapted this cool and fun innovative tool which can be used on its mobile application. It allows for you to see how a particular type of jewellery will look on you, before making your purchase.
Also, recently an Indian startup Style Dot me along with Jewelry brand Tanishq launched a 3-D try on app mirraR for a more convenient shopping experience.
This idea is now on the works for other apparel etailers to implement it. However, some of them have already introduced this technology. The online boutique marketplace, Violet-Street has introduced a ‘Made-to-Measure’ feature that allows its users to ‘try on’ their wide array of clothes on a 3D model.
This virtual try-on technology is no more a fancy feature but a requirement needed with the fast changing online environment.
Jewellery sales taking a huge hit during COVID
The global pandemic has screwed up all our plans. Going out partying, getting married and different other kinds of events, everything has been cancelled. And this has adversely impacted the jewellery industry more than you can imagine! The gold rates have been crippled and have witnessed the slowest pace of growth.
Somasundaram P R of World Gold Council (India) said, “Customers’ behaviour will change. Jewellery purchase through online selection will score over store pick-ups”.
Online shopping portals that specifically cater to jewelleries (both fine and fashion jewelleries) are the best choice for you to engage in any kind of purchasing activity.
Gina Drosos, the chief executive officer of Signet states that virtual consultations and shopping of jewelleries will become a permanent thing even after the pandemic subsides.
Keep calm and shop online!
Online shopping definitely has become the messiah during these tough times. And with such attractive plans like free shipping perks and return policies, online shopping has won our hearts. From grocery to apparel chains, lockets for girls, everything can be now delivered to your home.
So gift yourself the joy of online shopping and stay safe!
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