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To fashion designers, the lockdown is a break in the clouds

chloé gabriela hearst

The world’s lockdown is still going strong and will be so during the upcoming weeks. Whether the world will be the same afterwards, nobody knows. Despite all the negative news, anxiety attacks, risks and other uncertainties, the lockdown has a silver lining for some independent fashion designers. The killing speed of the fashion industry has finally come to a slower pace. The time has come to be creative, to be brave and to let go of the fashion system.
Cover photo: © Unsplash

The fashion industry’s lockdown

The hectic fashion calendar has taken a forced break. Now that materials and products simply don’t ship, the fashion industry is at hold. We’ve elaborated on the true cost of the coronavirus for the fashion industry earlier. We then saw that there was a huge backdrop in share value for big fashion conglomerates such as LVMH and Kering Group. But, on the bright side, we also saw carbon emissions drop by as much as 25 percent – something that hasn’t happened in years.

Silver lining for fashion designers

By now, we’ve almost become immune for news like the above. However, there’s one more thing we would like to pinpoint: this lockdown’s silver lining to many independent fashion designers. While Vogue Business reported that in China, fashion designers have returned to work, the rest of the world is still in quarantine until further notice.

The good thing about it? Young and independent designers finally have carte blanche. This is the time to develop creative plans, analyze what they’ve been doing the past years, decide on what to keep and what to let go of, accomplish necessary changes and question the current system of the fashion industry.

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Some designers finally decided to resell their dead stock in the form of a ‘sample’ sale. This is a very nice initiative, since those clothes and accessories deserve a chance as well. It teaches the consumer that not everything is season-bound.

The new normal

Slowly, very slowly, the new normal imbues many. Ten collections a year? Forty looks per collection? Photoshoots at the most exotic locations? Traveling and flying all around the globe to attend every fashion week? Don’t think so. All these actions that were yet so common, won’t be the new usual – and that was about time.

It creates space for independent designers, to finally develop collections they fully stand behind. Not producing because they have to sound welcoming to many of them. Some designers don’t have the means to create entire collections at the moment, since shipping and development of new materials has become limited. It may imply that collections will get smaller and looks will be created with much more craftsmanship and eye for detail.

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Luckily, there are some brands who already operated from this ‘new normal’. Take for example LILAY YUZGULEN – an emerging luxury brand that focuses on one product drop each year. The first product is handbag FAYE, of which the development took months. Just like it should be when creating a piece that will last a lifetime. CAES is such an initiative as well. At CAES, the designer develops single items, which after all form an entire wardrobe. If you ask us, this should be the new normal.

According to Bloomberg, the first signs of ‘revenge spending’ have already been noticed at the Chinese luxury markets. It’s too early to say whether this will happen to American and European markets as well. After all, the time has come to be creative, to be brave and to let go of the fashion system. Both for designers and consumers.

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