Fashion retail goes increasingly digital. As the world moves online, the fashion industry is no exception. However, is this a viable long term solution and in what ways are brands navigating their new environment? The announcement at the end of March by the British Fashion Council that London Fashion Week will go ahead is part of a larger initiative by the industry to attempt to operate business as usual. Nevertheless, designers are struggling to complete their collections while practising social distancing within production cycles. Similarly, spending by consumers has slowed by around 40% according to the BoF. Therefore there is a larger argument that these events are somewhat obsolete in the current climate.
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week is set to run from the 12 to 14 June and take a gender-neutral position. Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, exclaims to Campaign. “By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future. Designers will be able to share their stories and, for those that have them, their collections with a wider global community. We hope that, as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be an inspiration in bucket loads. It is what British fashion is known for.” The British Fashion Council has responded by encouraging participation. They say that this will allow designers the opportunity to generate sales for existing collections and retailers through orders for next season’s products.
With a global audience readily available, brands should now focus on defining their values and generating a loyal following rather than being seen to put profits first. However, it is unrealistic to believe that brands can survive on goodwill alone. A refreshing example of how to navigate this delicate balance comes from Sheer Luxe who is a London based fashion and lifestyle publisher. Sheer Luxe has pledged to donate £25,000 to the NHS, generated through new subscription packages. This allows for both increased brand awareness and benefiting our crucial health system.
In other news, Kheil’s has begun to offer online tutorials to emulate the in-store experience and guide consumer engagement. This is important considering that the UK high street accounted for 80% of beauty sales in 2018, according to NPD.
Often challenging times allow for our creativity to flourish. We look to upcoming digital events including Drapers Connects which is a series of digital events and virtual content. The aim is to connect the industry via broadcast Q&A discussions, panel talks and live webinars with business leaders. All Drapers Connects live content is free and easy to attend.
LFW: Although finer details are yet to be announced, the dates are set for the 12-14th June. So, keep your virtual calendar clear and indulge in what British Fashion has to offer. Billboard put together a list of the hottest upcoming digital music events to bring club quarantine into your living room.
Our pick as fashion retail goes increasingly digital? On June 6, artists including Lady Gaga and BTS are set to perform on YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” virtual commencement. The event will also feature appearances by Alicia Keys. The full schedule will be announced on May 17 and will be streamed on Youtube.
Find the full list of events here: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9335531/coronavirus-quarantine-music-events-onlinestreams
BoF Live is self-described as “Connecting our global community with expert advice, practical guidance and creative inspiration to navigate these unprecedented times.” We love Imran’s initiative to connect the industry and offer valuable and highly accessible resources. Find all upcoming lives and register your interest below.
Words by Rhiannon Hudson