As Covid-19 firmly yet uninvitingly stayed for 2020, it now looks to be hanging around for much of 2021, too. Dressing in the time of a global pandemic has altered the course of fashion and consumer behaviour irrevocably, and 2021 will not be the revolutionary year that pushes fashion forward, as much as it about adapting to the new normal, testing the survival skills of many and staying economically afloat.
Brands think trans-seasonal
As was seen on the SS21 catwalks, seasonal trends and designer must-haves are less relevant than the trans-seasonality most brands are delivering. Not just the mundane “above the keyboard” look and “comfy on bottom,” but rather an adoption of dressing for a new way of living, working and being in the same environment.
Looking at online sales data, categories of tops and knits are outselling dresses, trousers and formalwear. Perhaps that seems obvious in times like these, but for brands navigating a third fashion season without presenting physical catwalk shows and retailers steering through lockdown 3.0 with a third round of store closures, the question arises how do brands not selling those categories pivot to deliver lifestyle-driven pieces? What if your brand is fundamentally something else? Catwalk fabulous looks remain on hold for the foreseeable future.
Despite online sales booming since the pandemic - megaliths like FarFetch are reportedly not feeling the pinch and luxury e-tailer MyTheresa is preparing for a whopping 1.6 billion dollar valuation - the average consumer remains cautious and is sticking to fail-safe fashion. This includes sweats, leggings, knitwear, sneakers and home workout gear, the latter which has morphed into an entirely new category of home wellness wear.
Perhaps the biggest shift in dressing for 2021 is that clothes are meant to be worn. Investing in higher quality fibers and sustainable supply chains is for many a greater priority over the limiting parameters of a fashion trend.
Image via Pexels