As you know, I’ve worked full time in the fashion industry since 2014.
I wasn’t really in tune to what was going on during the 2008 recession, so I don’t know what the fashion industry was like back then. But speaking from experience now? This is BAD. And it’s super scary.
I know there are a lot of more important things in the world right now, like OH I DON’T KNOW, LIFE?! But fashion is my life. It’s my livelihood. It’s how I support myself. It’s what I enjoy doing every single day. I just started working for my company (started in February), and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It kills me to see our industry unraveling in front of our eyes.
Right now, we’re in survival mode. Doing everything we can do continue to run a business. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen when this is all over?
do whatever to survive
First things first, the fashion industry is going to have to continue to stay in survival mode. Although we’ve already done what we can to stabilize business, it’s not going to go back to normal once this is over. Stores are still going to be deeply impacted. There’s going to have to be research done on new markets, strategies, and what the hell we’re going to do next. I really believe that consumers’ mindsets are going to change dramatically.
Which leads me to my next point.
all discounts, all the time
People are going to come out of this deeply impacted by Covid-19. It’s very clear how many people have lost their jobs/have been furloughed during this time. Not too many people are worried about their next Spring date night outfit. Most people will probably be more concerned about what they’re going to eat, where they’re going to travel, seeing their families, etc. Plus, the fashion industry had to make a ton of changes to their promotions and mark downs throughout this pandemic to ensure customers are still making purchases. So once we go back to “normal”, the customer might assume retailers will stay promotional and expect it. If they don’t see the discount, they’re not going to buy (which I really hope isn’t the case).
rely on digital more than ever
If fashion brands weren’t digital before the pandemic, they probably are now. Or learning that they really don’t have a choice. Even on L&G’s social channels, I see people asking more and more questions regarding product. Digital platforms and e-commerce are more important than ever, and brands are going to have to adapt to that even when stores begin to open again.
I think brands are truly going to have to step out of the box once the pandemic is over. Since things will never be the same again, there’s so much uncertainty with where the markets will be. I think brands are going to have to prove themselves all over again to their customers. They’ll need to show how they’re still doing their part (whether it’s philanthropy, sustainability, etc.). Will brands have to rethink their assortments going forward and what they offer?
Right now, we’re about to start planning and developing ideas for Spring 2021. Given what has happened this spring, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to use the data we’ve gathered from our girl over the last two months. We don’t know what she’s going to be reaching for next spring, because this spring, she reached for our sweats and all things cozy. Brands are going to have to err on the side of caution going forward, which will be VERY interesting.
If you’ve made it this far, LOVE YA!!!!
Obviously, I have hope for the fashion industry. Between hard working teams and influencers on the digital side to help keep people buying, I think we’ll all make a comeback. Like I’ve mentioned, I’m SO grateful that our business has been absolutely BOOMING during this time. I think this time has actually helped put Lou & Grey on the map as a favorite, go-to brand for a lot of people. My hope is that other brands will figure things out, and get back on their feet as well. I want employees to go back to work and do what they love whether it’s designing, selling on the floor, buying, merchandising, planning, sourcing, etc.
From the consumer side, I encourage you to continue to shop if you can. Whether it’s a local boutique or your favorite mass retailer. The fashion industry is so special. Sure, there are changes that need to be made. But fashion is one of the most beautiful, expressive forms of art there is. Fashion is whatever you want it to be. So we need to make sure we continue to let it live.