In the absence of any runway shows, award galas or red-carpet events, there hasn’t been much new fashion to sigh over in recent times, unless that 30 per cent off all leggings email has you excited.
I don’t need any new clothes, and COVID-19 has made us realise that we could in fact wear jogging pants anywhere, for the rest of our lives, but that has not stopped me wanting a long, hot pink, silk evening slip dress worn with a paper-thin mango coloured cashmere bath robe coat and gold sandals.
I have been spending significant amounts of time, maybe too much lately, with a cup of tea, browsing all the collections online, and filling up a cart just for fun, (this swimsuit would look darling if I was on going on holidays to Tunisia! ) but I won’t be buying any new clothes this season.
I have decided that park walks, and slow-cooked lamb are my priorities for the foreseeable future, and from conversations I have had with many friends and colleagues, they are going to sit it out the season too.
When everyone is worried about their job security, their finances and the health of loved ones, no-one is splashing out on a new Chanel rain boot.
The news out there for the fashion industry is grim – a recent report from McKinsey on the drastic impact of the virus mentions a “quarantine of consumption” with predictions of a global revenue contraction in the luxury market, due to consumer pessimism in the area of 30 to 39 per cent in 2020.
McKinsey Global Fashion Index analysis found that 56 percent of global fashion companies were not earning their cost of capital in 2018, and there is an expectation that a large number of global fashion companies will go bankrupt in the next 12 to 18 months. The closing of stores and interrupted supply chains have hit brands hard, and surprisingly, even online sales are down, according the report, with a decline of 15 to 25 percent in China, 5 to 20 percent across Europe, and 30 to 40 per cent in the US.
Some of us are still shopping though.
A trend report from upmarket retailer Moda Operandi helpfully shared that the current must-have of the moment are Persian etched glass tumblers, cashmere tracksuits, a $4000 Bottega Veneta clutch bag and a gold Lurex swimsuit, all good to know, because my latest must-haves are a new bread knife, fluffy slippers and a home manicure kit.
But interestingly, Moda found that consumers were “more likely to shop for full-price luxury products when there is a charitable component involved“ and their Shop for a Cause initiative, in which a percentage of net profits from full-price sales were donated to organizations to help in the collective fight against COVID-19, resulted in an increase in daily average full-price sales. It also drew in new customers, “suggesting that full-price shoppers have a propensity to spend their luxury dollars when there is an opportunity to give back.”
The fashion world has needed to address the issues of waste and excess for a long time, and hopefully this era of more thoughtful brands and buying less, but better, are trends that will stay.