How the Fashion Industry is Surviving COVID

As non-essential shop reopenings increase, contrary to hopes, we’re seeing a sharp decrease in footfall on the high street. (Vogue Business). Now that our shops, as well as restaurants and bars, are adapting to the new ‘socially distanced’ normal, one wonders how this pandemic may impact fashion itself.

Without having regular places to showcase our style and carefully curated outfits, the world of ‘work from home’ has become a fashion statement in itself. With social media sites dedicated to ‘work from home’ wear (for example Instagram site @wfhfitssocial), people are asking, ‘what is the new WFH dress code?’ We’re seeing totally new trends; fashionable face masks, luxurious loungewear replacing office attire, and folks forgoing heels for comfortable slippers. These trends look like they’ll have a sustained place in a post-COVID-19 as companies adopt more flexible work from home practices.

When a global crisis occurs, often, this is the catalyst for change and a shift in how we interpret fashion. Similar to the effect of past world wars and pandemics, we too will have to focus on quality over quantity and practicality over vanity as we have this past year. Rather than searching online for the newest heels, google search traffic has seen an increase in ladies asking ‘what are the best slip-on shoes for working from home’ are. We’ve even seen a huge increase here, at Lucy Choi London, in the amount of flats and slip ons our customers are purchasing this season.  

With the UK opening up once again, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts, and fashion progresses. Will block colours and florals brighten up the dismal day-to-day, and will the flats be switched up for the highest heels once again? At Lucy Choi London, it is interesting our V&A heel is still selling well however in line with COVID trends- our best seller by far is a flat, the Shoreditch quilted.

Alongside the micro, it will be interesting on a more macro level to see if both consumers and the industry further embrace and gravitate towards a more sustainable fashion option too, having seen the impact that this pause in life and production has had on the world. The fashion industry currently contributes up to 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and the Global Fashion Agenda forecasts those emissions will increase by 50 percent by 2030.’ (Source Vogue Business.) At Lucy Choi London we are working with The Restory to encourage continued restoration of our products, we are using recycled materials in packaging and working with our factory to use sustainable materials in our shoes. 

Despite the Coronavirus, uncertainly many of the major luxury fashion houses are still moving ahead with their September Catwalk plans. Brands such as Burberry, Christian Dior, Chanel, and Fendi have all cited their commitment to staging live fashion shows. Bucking the trend for event cancellation and online showcases, even Paris Fashion Week has now confirmed that it is good to go ahead in person. ( Source: Vogue Business)

So, how are we surviving Coronavirus and what have we done to adapt? As we launch a more condensed capsule SS20 shoe collection this season and have just re-opened our flagship boutique at Lucy Choi London, we too have been impacted as both a business (we have had to shift focus to online) and a fashion house (condensing our seasonal collection with a focus  on flats over heels). Customer care, something at Lucy Choi London we are very proud of, has been strongly highlighted. Alongside all of the new government measures that we have introduced including increased sanitisation and maximum capacities, we have also looked at how we can further improve the personal service for all our customers. We have introduced VIP one-to-one styling sessions that are available in person or remotely to ensure a continued close connection with all of our valued customers. We have also introduced Klarna as a way to help customers make purchases more financially comfortable. Further to this, as with the industry as a whole, we are embracing any new challenges, putting our best (highly-styled) foot forward, and are following closely to see what happens next!