The world of fashion and luxury retail has certainly faced unique challenges in 2020. Regulations stemming from COVID-19 have made it more difficult to attract shoppers and often impossible to hold in-person shows. However, the fashion industry is nothing if not innovative, and Wayne Shulick, founder of Shu Holdings, has seen several effective strategies companies are using to stay on top.
A New Focus on Loungewear
Social distancing measures and remote work mean far fewer changes in outfits, and less focus on dramatic changes for different events. Instead, the market has shifted to comfortable fashion that looks great in web-conferencing events. Wayne Shulick reports that companies have focused on loungewear and business clothes that fit this new demand.
Online Luxury Shopping
Wayne Shulick also advises to keep an eye out for growing success in online luxury clothing, especially as the holidays draw close. Today’s websites, with their 3D modeling, zoom functions, and elaborate displays, are better equipped to handle luxury clothing buyers than ever before.
With the nightlife scene severely limited in 2020, buyers are spending less on limited-use fashion and more on fashion they know will last for some time…and clothing that matches their own desires for the world. That means a greater focus on sustainable, durable clothing. Wayne Shulick cautions that it’s uncertain how permanent this trend is, but fashion companies focusing on sustainable, high-quality options may currently have the edge. Since the fashion industry as a whole has a heavy carbon footprint, there are also marketing opportunities for eco-friendly lines that don’t disappoint.
More Fashion Accessories
Wayne Shulick also notes that, as the 2020 holidays approach, consumers are finding it easier to spending money on fashion accessories – especially as gifts – to complement garments they or their friends already have. Accessories are easier to buy online, there are fewer worries about shipping, and Wayne Shulick also mentions that they can have added value with growing customization options, including monograms and other symbolic personalization.
While these fashion lines are inherently limited, Wayne Shulick has noticed that some designers are fully leaning into pandemic fashion with creative choices and cultural awareness that’s proving to be a big draw in some circles.
One such pivot is, of course, to luxury and personalized face masks, which Wayne Shulick notes have debuted around the world in various ways. Other fashion brands have embraced garments that pointedly celebrate living through a pandemic or fighting disease.
Planning for 2021
With supply lines and production struggling, the fashion industry is looking at limited sales opportunities in more ways than one. With revenue low for 2020 and some trends expected to continue into 2021, Wayne Shulick advises fashion companies to focus on cooperating with their partners and forming long-term plans to continue saving money and focusing on more durable, multi-purpose lines that will appeal to a changing landscape. The growing methods of alternative sales and virtual shows may be here for some time.