Fashion weeks make up a big part of the fashion industry. They are where fashion entrepreneurs get to showcase their skills, gain new insights into the industry, and network with others. They are a must-attend for every fashion entrepreneur.
Digital Fashion Week Europe held the first leg of its event from Tuesday, July 6 to Thursday, July 8 2021. The event which was organised by CIFF, Modefabriek and Fashion Cloud is the biggest digital trade show in Europe. This digital event will be followed by the live events Modefabriek in RAI Amsterdam on July 11-12, and CIFF in Copenhagen on August 11-13.
The digital event featured lots of panel discussions with high-profile keynote speakers, giving attendees a deeper glimpse into the world of fashion. It also featured brand profiles where brands showcased their latest collections. Another great feature of the event was the networking opportunity it afforded attendees to exchange ideas and connect with other attendees.
With various topics up for discussion, the event has been highly informative. With topics surrounding transparency, sustainability, the future of fashion events, and retail in fashion, attendees were given a glimpse into various aspects of the industry. Here are some of the major highlights from the event;
Sustainability in fashion requires every hand on deck
Nowadays, people are becoming more conscious of the adverse effects of fast fashion on the environment. Although it is still a small minority of people that are paying attention to it, it is still something. With time, people will pick up on it and learn to accept it.
For this to happen, however, the fashion industry needs to get stricter sustainability measurements in place for brands. With these measures, fashion brands will learn to become more conscious of imbibing sustainable practices into their operations. The industry also needs to become more transparent with what it does. A move towards sustainability will not just happen. Everyone needs to work together to make it happen.
It will be great for the government to play a role in pushing sustainability in the industry but that will be harder to achieve. So, everyone needs to play a role in pushing sustainability – the government, brands, end-users. The end-users have to be conscious about being sustainable and shopping only for sustainable products. Companies will also begin to sit up and change when they are charged for unsustainable practices. However, this change cannot happen overnight.
So far in the industry, all sustainability developments should be applauded, especially in the second-hand market. There is now a huge rise in rental models which is good, however, they should not be used as an excuse to keep producing more fashion items. Even with rental fashion, the industry needs to keep things fewer. This way, there are fewer materials used in production and waste less waste happens.
Maximizing clients’ willingness to pay for products
Fashion retailing is the process of selling fashion goods and services to an end consumer. The consumption in retail increases 3 to 4 per cent every year, however, most brick and mortar retailers operate with much higher risks than online retailers. This is because they have to handle much more costs than online retailers would. Fashion brands need to focus on maximising the willingness of clients to pay for their products.
Every fashion brand needs to make business models that will suit them and pivot them in the market. In the past, before online retailing, fashion brands could not specialise in just one product but that has changed now. Now, with online retailing, brands can specialise in just one item, like swimsuits, and get clients from all over the world to patronise them.
For most fashion brands, organic sales work well. With organic sales, brands can establish their presence in the minds of their clients. This way, clients know what you sell and get used to you, knowing you for something in particular. This is as opposed to tactical sales where brands have to pay to get more clients.
“You can build your organic sales by accumulating customers from social media and building an organic reach.”Mads Kivi Jensen, Founder of Made About Consulting.
As you build your organic retail business, you must think of compound interest as a fashion entrepreneur. This is the profit you get from your clients accumulated over time.
“To reach Gen Z with fashion, we need to gamify the fashion experience.” – Angelo Ruggeri
These days, there is no fashion or fashion event without sustainability. A digital fashion week is not about recording fashion shows and putting them online, it is supposed to be done by the people and for the people and in a digital way. For example, GCDS works with Pixar for fashion shows to create animation for fashion, Gucci also does a phygital fashion week.
To reach Gen Z with fashion, we need to gamify fashion because they love to play games. As Fashion Journalist Angelo Ruggeri put it, “To reach Gen Z with fashion, we need to gamify the fashion experience.”
The event rounded up with an emphasis on the need to also focus on promoting craftsmanship and hand-made fashion items. Other important areas to focus on are vintage and upcycling.
Fashion brands need to learn to embrace and use new social networks like Twitch and TikTok because they are the key to reaching the audience. Brick and mortar fashion stores should embrace augmented reality for retail entertainment purposes to attract customers and keep them engaged.
Fashion needs to learn how to be more sustainable and digital because that is where the industry is headed.