The future of the fashion industry

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    THE coronavirus pandemic will subsequently revolutionize fashion – an industry that is very adaptable to change and a medium that showcases changes in time, says Christine Cheryl Benet, chair of the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.

    For one, Benet said the materials to be used will be different, combining protective elements from fiber to fabric stage, thus natural materials may only be used minimally.

    Also, functionality will be the new norm, design and aesthetics; differentiating brands and designers will be limited to color and silhouette.

    Benet likewise said innovation will come mainly from materials and construction of products. Sewing and other related equipment may change to lessen human dependency and contact which may result in a mass layoff.

    She added that retail will be more online dependent. Product information and customer feedback will be the strongest basis of purchasing, veering away from physical experience and influencer/model endorsements.

    Lastly, given the online dependency, shoes may be the least priority in terms of purchasing.

    Fashion will still flourish both globally and locally, Benet said. “However, fast fashion will finally no longer be a trend,” and clothing will be considered as an investment as part of protecting oneself, she said.

    Meanwhile, Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, recently joined Naomi Campbell for the 13th episode of “No Filter with Naomi,” the British supermodel’s YouTube talk show.

    According to Wintour, when people come out at the other end, their values will have shifted.

    “I think it is an opportunity for all of us to look at our industry and look at our lives and rethink our values,” she said, noting the waste, amount of money, consumption and excess people have indulged in, as well as what the industry stands for.

    She noted a need to plan and think about what the world of fashion should do following the crisis that has gripped the world.

    Creativity in time of crisis is such an important beacon to people, she said.

    “We are all in agreement that we need to show less, that we need to have more of an emphasis on sustainability, and we need to have more emphasis on luxury and creativity and craft,” Wintour added.

    Named a dame by Queen Elizabeth II, Wintour said people need to celebrate the art and design of fashion, noting they should slow down and enjoy it much more instead of constantly looking for what’s new or what’s next.

    “We needed this terrible event to make us understand that it’s not about needing to change; we have to change, we are going to change,” she added.

    Vogue and CFDA have launched “A Common Thread” – a fundraising initiative that tells of the struggles and hopes of the fashion community.

    Constantly in touch with her colleagues, Wintour revealed that Vogue’s next issue will be entirely made up of “self-generated images.”

    On Zoom day in, day out, Wintour reminded people to wear their masks. “Wear one of those wonderful masks that the fashion industry is working so hard to produce,” she said.