The COVID-19 virus has taken various industries and put them at a screeching halt. Shutting down non-essential business and in some areas, stopping the sale os non-essential items altogether. For the fashion industry, COVID-19 has made some serious impacts that many professionals are calling devastating. While the timeline of returning to normalcy is unknown, the fashion industry is doing what it can to adapt. However, the damaging impact of COVID-19 is inevitable:
As the federal government deemed the closure of non-essential business, major brands faced temporary closures at their retail stores and even some e-commerce sites. While retailers were forced to shut their doors, designers felt the impact, and unfortunately, the future remains unknown.
Financial Loss for Brands
As a result of retail closures and a significant increase in job losses and unemployment, it’s not a surprise that many fashion brands are feeling the financial pains of revenue loss. In fact, according to The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company’s recent update states that up to 80% of retail stores that remain closed for more than two months will find themselves in unavoidable financial distress; this applies to both global fashion and luxury brands. Despite the unfortunate predictions that are facing the industry currently, many industry professionals are looking on the bright side, and viewing the COVID-19 crisis as a time to redesign the industry, and it’s value-chain.
COVID-19 didn’t only impact the retail sector of the fashion industry when it entered our global society, but it hit directly in the midst of Milan Fashion Week, causing many designers, like Chanel and Armani, to pull their collection from public runway shows. Many designers and other international fashion weeks followed suit when various runway shows that were slated for later in the Spring we’re announced as postponed or canceled.
With so many staple events being postponed or canceled, many designers and retail companies are taking their business virtually, good news for fashion lovers that are stuck at home. Today, designers are showcasing their collections virtually via social media and live-stream platforms. In a recent Forbes article by contributor Brooke-Roberts Islam, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA), Matthew Drinkwater states that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly linked fashion and the technology industry to create and integrate virtual clothing, showrooms, and even runways.