The entire world has been turned upside down due to the Covid-19. Industries have been put on pause and the future seems uncertain. Fashion weeks are going digital and the normal flow of the fashion world has stopped. Designers have had to shut down their workshops and their production has totally shifted. However, some think that there is a silver lining to this pause. The CFDA has urged brands to skip the resort season. Some brands have halted their fall season as well and are getting rid of excess stock. This means lower waste and consumption which is positive in a sustainability sense. Designers have been focusing on what they can do during this time to make a positive impact and it's rebooting their creativity.
Jeremy Scott, Moschino
Not only have designers been assisting with the crisis but it has made some think more creatively. Being stuck at home, it has inspired some to use what they have. This not only inspires a new creative process but is also sustainable. Jeremy Scott, Creative Director at Moschino, recently did a “recycling and re-purposing” workshop with Miley Cryus. During this workshop he said “you can take a pair of old Adidas sweatpants, cut them up, and make it work”. Designers and fashion lovers alike are using this time to come back better than ever. Designers are using what they have because they don’t have access to the resources that they had before.
Aurora James, Brother Vellies
Aurora James, Creative Director at ethical fashion footwear favorite Brother Vellies, has been connecting with her customers online as they reconnect to nature. Slowing down, growing avocado seeds and reinfusing a slow paced lifestyle to recharge life and creativity. (Popsugar) James has also taken a major lead in the Black Lives Matter movement in fashion with her 15% Pledge challenge. She's thrown down the gauntlet, challenging retailers to carry 15% black owned brands as black people account for 15% of the US population.
Stacey Bendet, Alice & Olivia
Stacey Bendet, Creative Director at Alice & Olivia, has also been using social media to connect with her customers by offering one on one styling sessions, yoga hangouts, and digital shopping events. (Popsugar) We have a feeling this focused reconnection with the customer and going back to the basics will drive much creativity in brands across the board.
Artist Harry Nuriev of Crosby Studios in New York highlighted the fact that we have always wanted to stop time. This time has allowed that to happen in some way. This stop in time has allowed Harry to focus on dream projects that he has never had time to focus on before. Harry has always dreamed of creating a virtual space in his aesthetic. He has never gone for it before because he didn't think that it would be useful. However, now seems to be the perfect time. Harry has been dedicating at least 3 hours to this project. He believes that we should allow ourselves to be productive and positive.
Marina Moscone told Women's Wear Daily that “now is the time to design a collection more than ever, one that is super focused on artistry and the relationship between material and craftsmanship." As most of the industry has foregone their resort collection, Moscone has been designing pieces for buyers that can transition easily into spring. "During these challenging times many people turn to art." That is exactly what Marina did for this collection. She has been using dead stock Italian yarns to add a sustainability aspect to her luxury brand. She plans to change the way she works by working slower and traveling less.
Hanako Maeda, Adeam
Hanako Maeda, Creative Director at Adeam, was also featured in WWD has not stopped her creative process either. She has been working on several collections as well as working towards the launch of her eCommerce site. Prior to the closure of Japan, Hanako had to learn to communicate construction details with her factories in Japan remotely. Like many other designers she has started to use old materials to create new silhouettes. She has been using social media to promote these new designs and plans to have her eCommerce site open by August.
Creative Director for her eponymous sustainable brand Gabriela Hearst has taken up coloring as a way to channel her feelings and rejuvenate her creativity for her collection. "The ability to express myself is a great relief. Drawing with markers, I can process emotions; thinking of colors and patterns is something I find healing. Really, it’s been everything for me right now. As long as I have my markers, pencil, and paper, I can find happiness and calm.” (Elle Decor)
Many designers have enjoyed the chance to restart the way the fashion industry operates. Claudia Li is one of many designers who are happy that she is now able to make her own rules. She believes that this is the wake up call the industry needed. During this lock down it has given her and her team the opportunity to express how they feel. Working digitally has improved the way that she communicates with her team as well as her audience. Claudia realized that you can work and do what you love no matter where you are.
What you, as a brand, can do
Fashion is changing and that means a clean slate moving forward. As a brand, connecting with your consumer is very important especially during these times. Social media is one of the most powerful tools. Update your customers on what you are doing and how your brand is moving forward. This is an opportunity to engage existing customers and find new customers, because online shopping is up right now. Go back to the basics on your product. How do we serve our customers? How can we do that better? What materials are we using? How does our brand affect the people who produce our collection AND the people who purchase it?
If you want some help getting creative with your marketing during this time, we recommend our Master Your Marketing course which walks you through how to tighten up your marketing strategy, effectively communicate with your target customer, and grow your brand awareness. Or checkout our whole catalog of brand courses designed to help you grow.