HOW FASHION BRAND STARTUPS CAN SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE A POST CORONA VIRUS WORLD WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Launching with the right products will be vital to ensure startup success
The COVID-19 pandemic set off a worrying chain of events within the fashion industry. With store closures and plunging sales it is not a surprise to hear that many entrepreneurs are feeling under pressure to create the right products for a changing marketplace.
Fashion was already suffering before Covid-19. Too much production was not kind to our planet and consumers were already demanding cleaner, more sustainable options. Brands needed to adapt quickly to build stronger relationships with their customers and began to focus more on values such as belongingness, expression and freedom.
Brands are now expected to create more authentic and educational content that resonates with consumers' aspirations and beliefs.
ANTICIPATE SHIFTS IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
We cannot predict what our new normal will be like. However, there are several trends that have begun to surface that can guide brand startups in the right direction and ensure they enter into the post Covid marketplace in a strong position.
CASUAL IS THE NEW BUZZWORD
Many people will return to a fundamentally different work environment. One where flexible hours and an emphasis on work - life balance is the new normal. Comfort will become the top consideration for clothing purchases. This trend towards the more "casual" was already strong prior to the virus and will accelerate further in the coming years.
FLEXIBLE SUPPLY CHAINS
Many brands and fashion businesses will look to source manufacturing onshore or nearshore. Having a flexible supply chain will become more important than low-cost offshore alternatives.
We will see a continued shift away from fast - fashion towards sustainable consumerism. Spending on evening wear and occasion wear has reduced and consumers are willing to spend more on high quality, sustainable garments as opposed to throwaway fashion.
We will witness a permanent shift in behaviour as new set of customer needs becomes apparent.
We will also see an increased shift towards e - commerce. Shoppers will expect a significantly more digital world after the pandemic and storefront operations are unlikely to recover to what they were before.
THE KEY PRODUCT SECTORS FOR FASHION BRAND STARTUPS
Consumers have continued to spend on clothing online. There are several sectors that have and will continue to be in demand following the aftermath of Covid-19.
The sectors identified are: Loungewear, Lingerie, Athleisure & Sportswear, Footwear and Fashion Gifting: Accessories & Jewellery.
Consumers' weekday, evening and weekend outfits have merged into one. Just as people may purchase a new outfit for a new job, a dramatic change of lifestyle will warrant a new casual wardrobe. Consumers want and need to feel comfortable at home.
Lingerie sales are increasing and online orders have increased by 38%. Consumers are ready to revamp their underwear drawers to either impress behind closed doors or are seeking the comfort and ease that pairs with their new casual loungewear.
ATHLEISURE & SPORTSWEAR
Consumers are also seeking ways to compensate for loss of activity due to restrictions and with more time to work out, the athleisure sector is booming. Fitness related social content has spear - headed this increase and it is set to continue.
FASHION GIFTING: ACCESSORIES & JEWELLERY
With social distancing and imposed restrictions, we are seeing an increase in online sales of fashion accessories and jewellery. This upward trend comes from the desire to stay connected and treat loved ones when physical presence is prevented. Expect a boom in these areas across Womenswear, Menswear and Kidswear.
EMBRACE COMFORT AND EASE FOR SPRING SUMMER 2021
Brands that launch within these key sectors who are creative, innovative and digital will carry the fashion industry through these difficult times.
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Over two decades worth of experience within the luxury and commercial sectors of the fashion industry has given Tiffany the know-how you need for your brand.
With both her craft as a freelance fashion designer and curiosity and vision as a forecaster, she has built a reputation for accurate trend prediction and design development.