Fashion Trends Post COVID-19 – How The Industry Is Transforming From Survival To Revival Mode?
Fashion | 2021-01-26T22:55:16

Fashion Trends Post COVID-19 – How The Industry Is Transforming From Survival To Revival Mode?

Fashion took a backseat in light of the events that have unfolded in the first half of 2020. The threat of the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession, and global civil unrest have plagued this year, affecting our daily lives and creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. With global economies opening up, businesses are shifting their strategies from survival to revival. People are hanging up their well-worn loungewear, and getting ready to head back to work, albeit with necessary safety precautions. 

The pandemic brought about a grinding halt in the fashion industry. It has been a time of retrospection for the industry, to address issues of mass production, sustainability, racism, forced labour, and cultural appropriation. The fashion industry needs to reinvent itself, and industry leaders agree that the change needs to happen now rather than later. These changes are inevitable and critical to creating a sustainable future for the industry and the planet. 

Conscious consumerism along with economic slowdown will reshape our interpretation of fashion. Fashion will be austere, functional, and budget-friendly for the emotionally and financially exhausted masses. The focus will be on quality over quantity as well as sustainability. The Great Depression gave rise to the reuse and recycle concept to reduce waste. World War 2 saw the rationing of fabrics to save money. Similarly, in the current economic climate consumers’ focus would be to prioritise practicality over vanity. The fashion industry is gearing for the tectonic shift in consumer behaviour while reevaluating their value chain to tap into future opportunities in a post-COVID world.

As fashion trends continue to evolve, here top 5 that should be on everyone’s radar:

  • Nostalgic Fashion- Fashion trends recycles itself every 30 years or so. Even before the pandemic, 90s style was in vogue. The trend of nostalgic fashion will likely continue to post COVID. People are using nostalgic fashion as a form of escapism from these turbulent times. Retro silhouettes like oversized blazers, biker shorts, fanny packs, champion gear, and wide-leg pants will be fashion staples of the season. Expect to see classics like acid wash denim, stonewash jeans, boiler suits, double denim, and denim skirts driving the streetwear culture. Items like tracksuits, polo shirts, colour blocking, and basketball shorts will fuel nostalgic 90s fashion in menswear. Earthy tones, platform shoes, and sheer clothing will dominate women’s fashion. The quintessential 90s styling will likely continue to thrive post-pandemic, as means for millennials to cope with the emotional distress of 2020. Nostalgic fashion is here to stay, at least for a while. 
  • Fashionable Protection- Luxury brands are creating and selling logo-embellished masks for distinguished shoppers. High street brands are also manufacturing affordable and stylish masks. This utility item will continue to be a trend, one which is born out of necessity. Designers and artists are tapping into this trend as a creative outlet and coming up with the most unique masks. From a transparent mask created by Anissa Mekrabech, bridal face mask by Friederike Jorzig to face masks with zipper (to allow the wearer to eat and drink) by Wolfgang Schinke and Pierre Zielinski, there is a mask for every quirk and need. With personal hygiene at the forefront, there will be a rise in the demand for antibacterial fabrics and finishes. There is an opportunity for brands to incorporate these textiles into their collections, as the protective gear will become an everyday accessory for people going back to work or starting school.
  • Loungewear- Athleisure and loungewear will be a big trend even after the pandemic is over. With people spending months working from home in comfortable loungewear, it’s unlikely they will want to give it up now. More people are expected to work from remote environments from next year, as a result of the monumental shift in corporate work culture. So 2021 will be about soft fabrics, comfortable homeware, and casual dressing. Loungewear will be elevated with easy to clean textiles, luxury silhouettes like silk robes and pyjamas, breathable lingerie, and chic house shoes. Menswear staples like hoodies and joggers are here to stay. For a seasonal change, lighter fabrics such as cotton and linen shirts and t-shirts paired with shorts or trousers will be a refreshing update to the usual loungewear. For outdoor events, including gym and treks, athleisure will be the go-to choice for most. It’s comfortable, practical, and some even come in antibacterial fabrics.
  • Minimalism- Minimalism, inspired by the Scandinavian sense of style, has been a popular trend for a while now. However, in light of the devastating pandemic, we will see a bigger return to minimalist aesthetics. Buyers would like to make investments in timeless, classic items rather than big brand logos. Simplicity will be the chosen route for the masses, as consumers have less disposable income now. Quality, long-lasting pieces are what the buyers will look for. There will be less reliance on flashy, consumerism driven trends.  
  • Sustainable And Positive Change- The fashion industry has always been accused of greenwashing. However, now there is an opportunity for the industry to change course and move away from mass production to a more sustainable on-demand production framework. The rise of anti-consumerism and eco-consciousness means that consumers want sustainably made multi-functional clothing pieces rather than use and throw fast fashion.

Fashion has always been used as a platform for social and political statements. In the recent events of the #MeToo and #BLM Movement, brands have shown their support for social causes, giving rise to the concept of ‘kindness economy’. During the pandemic, retailers across the world stepped up to aid the global fight against COVID. The ‘kindness economy’ will be a major factor in the consumer’s purchasing decisions. Brand loyalty will be dictated by the brand’s contribution and stance on social issues.