|There are a host of questions facing fashion in 2022 as the pandemic continues to leave us all treading uncertain territory. That said, more and more brands are sharpening their gaze on the digital native Generation Z, who value meaningful messages as much as the next best product.|
With all this in mind, we asked industry experts to weigh in on the current themes dominating fashion, and consider the opportunities and challenges that must be contended with this year.
|GIA KUAN, PRINCIPAL, GIA KUAN CONSULTING: I am of the strong belief that fashion week is not for every brand, and there shouldn’t be a need for younger brands to feel “legitimized” through an industry structure as such. If you have a direct-to-consumer model and community support, there’s complete freedom to do it your way.|
ROBYN LYNCH, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER: I can’t deny the appeal of a digital show from a financial perspective, but when you work so hard to have that moment of joy two times a year, it’s justifiable.
STEFANO MARTINETTO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND CO-FOUNDER, TOMORROW LTD: We went into the pandemic with this big idea of changing things – it was an overreaction. Two years later, I find myself missing the energy of fashion week.
|BEN HURREN, HEAD OF MEN’S ELEVATION, FLANNELS: It’s exciting to see luxury fashion be first to the party in the digital space, where historically it hasn’t been – take the fashion industry’s slow adoption of e-commerce as a prime example. |
LYNCH: I think success will depend on if there’s a crossover in consumers between the fashion world and the metaverse.
|HURREN: Retail destinations will survive because the experience is something you can’t buy online. |
LYNCH: The attitude of Gen Z is different. They’re not going into the high street and buying something new each week. They are educating themselves, they’re interested in brand stories. They strive to save up and buy one investment piece.
KUAN: Then you also have this interesting middle ground of live online shopping. The ability to merge entertainment, editorial, and retail into one segment is something I’m excited about, exemplified throughTELFAR TV, for example.
|HURREN: It’s clear that traditional media plans have expired. Our customer lives and breathes digital, and we know how vital it is to stay ahead of the digital changes anticipated this year.|
KUAN: We’re going through a pendulum swing of the shift in voices, and we’re going to hit a wall there, but it also welcomes the opportunity for a wave of new voices to arise.
|HURREN: The continued supply chain disruptions. Independent designers are sadly at most risk during such turbulent times, so it’s important to tap into the new generation – they’re at the forefront of change and deliver the most innovative and unconventional ideas.|
KUAN: The foundation of fashion is based on consumption and, unfortunately, as an industry based on producing beautiful things with a fast seasonal turnaround, there’s the question of waste. As people who not only work within it but also consume it, we are the stakeholders who can push for actionable changes.
|MARTINETTO: Legacy and heritage brands – which have the resources to do anything they want – might start losing grip on a new consumer. This new consumer might be interested in other products and brands that are expressing a value system rather than hijacking their attention. This might open the market more for independent brands to come through with their message and win over those customers.|
KUAN: Brands in today’s society need to have a voice to uplift and educate. Clothing beyond the product is a vessel for storytelling and passing down new ways of thinking and inspiration for the next generation.
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