What does the future hold for the design industry?
There is a saying, worst time also brings the best in people. Never has anyone in the world faced a case of such emergency that has affected the entire world at the same time. The loss in businesses has led to stunted economy. At this unprecedented point of time where we are plagued with a pandemic, the glamour industry has redirected towards creating products that were insufficient. The challenges have been aplenty; however, quick thinking on the feet has made it possible for some businesses to create a new path by creating product expansion during this time of crisis. Not only have they been able to fill a gap but also rise to the occasion by handing out the resources to the front line workers but also tapped into the potential that the insufficiency has created in the market.
From manufacturing supply chain to fashion weeks and trade shows, the pandemic has been shaking up the fashion industry. This phase, poses unmatched economic and social damage for global industries. The worldwide retail and manufacturing industry are the worst hit. In such a situation, fashion is the last thing on people’s mind. This trickledown has affected everyone from retailers to weavers.
Most young brands with not enough savings probably shut down resulting in major loss. To reach at least 50% of buyers in the lockdown period, brands started virtual lookbook to showcase a 360 degree viewing of the collection so that buyers can see the looks in full. Also most of the brands have started producing protective face mask to donate and retail for having a running atmosphere. They also started working through new online retail business for a satisfying, interactive and simpler user interface. This delay definitely gives fashion businesses a time to plan their existing business strategies and change the face of fashion and retail post this stage. Old-fashioned methods of working will no longer work with consumer habits and expenses on the undergoing massive transformation. As a result of crisis there are some themes that come into light in the fashion industry like survival instincts, discounts, digital escalation and innovation.
With social distancing being the norm, photographers stuck at home are finding new innovat ive ways to continue to work, by foraying into face time shoots and other forms of remote photography. This new approach to photography is likely to create a lasting impact post the lockdown. Apart from the promise of convenience which was otherwise deemed impossible in photography, has proven to be cost effective with negligible ecological footprint. Conducting online classes is another way of imparting knowledge and opening a productive stream to earn from the confines of one’s home.
The interior industry relies on work being done on site. There is no material or labor movement which translates into zero progress in work. This has provided a pathway for the launch of video specific design consultation service to clients. This service offers the same experience as that of a face to face meeting. Clients can finalize layouts, designs, 3D views, cost estimates and all detailed drawings before work on site begins, from the safety of their home. This plan of action acts as a roadmap for the future, considering the current challenges and any eventual probability.
The Jewellery industry has also faced the impact of the shutdown. The demand of the products has gone down and they have started facing challenges in the form of customer deliveries/inquiries, fall in exports, etc. The challenges for the jewellery industry will continue even after the situation normalizes. The industry is taking necessary steps to make sure the situation is under control. They are focusing on how they can make this phase exciting and innovative for their customers.
How are Luxury sectors coping with the pandemic onslaught?
Luxury brands like LVMH, Chanel, Dolce&Gabana, Dior, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co.., Michael Kors etc, have diversified their operations to produce products that are insufficient like hand sanitizers and face masks. This has led to brands diversifying to create need based products like face masks especially inorder to remain relevant. Apart from finding opportunity during the time of crisis to remain afloat in this volatile market, the luxury brands have also stepped up to produce face masks, sanitizers, gowns, single-use medical overalls for healthcare workers alongwith monetary donations to build intensive care units, research, emergency assistance foundations for employees and partners and medical equipments etc. The steadfastness and prompt action by the luxury brands will create an impact on brand loyalty among their customers.
A new way of fashion shows during COVID-19
The pandemic situation has inspired the world to come up with creative ideas despite all difficulties. The London Fashion Week is going to bring a diversification in the history of fashion show. They are going to launch LFW on 12th June, 2020 as a digital only platform. Recently all fashion weeks were put on halt due to COVID-19. Digital is the future, but it will take some time to transition for an online fashion week. However, the trend is soon catching up with a solution proposed by CR Runway and YouTube by introducing the first at-home fashion show for the annual amfAR gala. The likes of Karlie Kloss, Kim Kardashian West, Hailey Bieber, Halima Aden etc. were part of the fashion extravaganza. Designers like Alexander Wang, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Diane von Furstenberg and Virgil Abloh made an appearance in segments. The positive impact of an online fashion show is the reduction in the carbon footprint, which could lead to be advantageous for the industry and the environment.
COVID-19 effects on small scale business
With high level of COVID 19 spread in the world has led to one in every four small businesses to shut down. But in the middle of this negativity, small businesses may get the help to outlive their crisis. These small scale businesses are looking for relief in the form of direct cash payments, Small Business Administration disaster loans and temporary cancellation of business payroll taxes. Among those who haven’t temporarily shut down due to COVID 19, 40% is likely to shut down within the next two weeks according to a survey taken. A total of 54% of all small businesses are closed within this pandemic period. Service businesses are shortening hours while manufacturers stand out as most likely to have adjusted employee salaries. It is believed that small business who are temporarily shut down or permanently shut down will take six months to a year to come back to track and be normal.
COVID-19 has a deep impact on everyone’s life. The present crisis, characterized by widespread lockdown of the economy over a large time period, has resulted in a ‘crisis of confidence’, which is the principal factor. The lockdown over a large period could lead to shortage in the economy with its consequences.