Tuning in to the new desires…
The pandemic has helped accelerate changes already at work in terms of consumers’ expectations and behaviors, consumers who are more than ever looking for meaningful purchases and apparel. Here, an examination of the issue, with insights from designer Vanessa Seward and fashion historian Pamela Golbin.
Over 100,000 people responded to the large-scale public survey on sustainable fashion launched last September by Paris Good Fashion. Though a high level of engagement had been predicted, the participation level blew past even the most optimistic expectations, demonstrating just how sustainability is at the heart of every desire, and central to every issue. The survey’s results, published this past February 13, confirmed this high level of expectation, yet for most brands, these expectations have long been well understood. Almost all brands now vaunt traceability, organic materials and recycling in each of their collections. And the most visionary brands embody values – from diversity to gender equality – coursing through today’s society, with commitments that meet with widespread support every time.
So fashion designers are faced with a largely unprecedented challenge – to integrate into their creative process clear signs of their understanding of the world, while keeping in mind the fact that fashion is also a matter of pleasure, levity, desire and attraction.
Add to this the fact that the entire planet has recently developed a taste for sweatshirts and comfy pants perfect for Zoom meetings, and that sneakers are the new norm when seeking to cross town without resorting to crowded public transportation, and you get a fairly clear idea of the complexity of the current situation.
Yet as historian Pamela Golbin reminds us, fashion is not on its first crisis by a long shot. Fashion has always been able to turn a difficult period around to its own advantage, to seize on a new sense of vitality and rebirth – which seems very much like where we are right now. Lydia Bacrie for Première Vision
Our special report on new buying behaviors in fashion continues:
Discover our interview with Pamela Golbin, former curator of fashion and textiles at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and later artistic director of the Jacquard residency at Google Arts & Culture.
And our interview with Vanessa Seward