Luxury consumer behavior is changing, and fashion brands must change as well. A Vogue Business poll of luxury Chinese consumers in March showed that mono-brand e-commerce platforms were picked up as a primary shopping channel during the post-pandemic crisis.
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Digitalization in fashion
However, a McKinsey consumer sentiment survey stated that e-commerce is clearly not yet offsetting the sales declines in stores. But let’s take a look on the bright side: during the shutdown of stores for months, the pandemic has been clearly the accelerator of the digital divide.
Therefore, artificial intelligence plays a critical role also in sustainability. By predicting inventory to create a more resilient supply chain, pandemic presents an opportunity for the reconceptualization of business strategies.
For many years, fashion weeks were a meeting point of fashion buyers, market designer brands, and many other people in the industry. But gathering hundreds of people in one international location during the global coronavirus crisis will hardly be possible to be done in the nearest months.
Different local designers and even fashion conglomerates started to team up with IT companies to admit tech transformation. In early June, The British Fashion Council was the first one to announce and adopt an online format for its menswear fashion week followed by Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode with its online couture fashion week.
So, what kind of companies navigate behind the scenes? It was Microsoft that teamed up with Accenture to develop and deliver a digital platform to support Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana’s (CNMI) digital Milan Digital Fashion Week which went live in the middle of July to broadcast Milano Fashion Week around the world.
Social media is also playing a critical role with the possibility to go live for broadcasting and releasing new collections. A few months earlier, Instagram allowed live to be available on its desktop version, and now it has clearly become the next generation department store with sales, in-store events, and tutorials.
Gucci dedicated some posts on Instagram to different public health messages, at the same time other luxury brands have offered IG TV seminars, live talks, and interviews with celebrities, cooking, and fitness lessons.
Let’s take a closer look at how different fashion brands have overcome the pandemic.
French fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus started a new campaign called #JacquemusAtHome, where users had to recreate the brand’s asymmetric heels using products found at home.
Balmain launched #BalmainEnsemble, where users could share inspirational posts with friends and artists associated with the brand.
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#BalmainEnsemble: Celebrating, along with thousands of our fellow Parisians, under the bluest of summer skies and surrounded by the incredible beauty of Ville Lumiere, #BalmainsurSeine highlights 75 years of refinement, craftsmanship and elegance—and the house's 21-Century vision that is built upon the strongest of foundations. Watch the full video in bio as part of @parisfashionweek #PFWonline #ParisFashionWeek
Prada launched Possible Conversations: the luxury brand’s series of Instagram live interviews and discussions. The topics were mainly dedicated to fashion at the time of a crisis.
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Bringing together individuals and thoughts, @Prada debuts #PradaPossibleConversations – a series of @Instagram live dialogues between thinkers, cultural arbiters and fashion figures across the world. With each conversation #Prada will donate to @UNESCO – an organization whose work during the #COVID19 pandemic focuses on over 1.5 billion students worldwide who have been affected by school closure. The first #PradaPossibleConversation took place on April 14, 2020 at 6pm CET, between @PamelaGolbin, author, curator and Artistic Director of Jacquard x Google Arts & Culture Residency, and @AlexanderFury, Fashion Features Director of AnOther Magazine and Men’s Critic of the Financial Times. Now on IGTV. #StaySafe #StayHome
Bottega Veneta is possibly the most active on social media accounts during the pandemic. The fashion label used not only their official website to showcase, but also Apple Music.