Changing Trends and Career Opportunities in the Fashion Industry

Jul 16, 2020 by


The unexpected onset of the novel coronavirus has had almost every industry staring into the abyss of uncertainty. From small business owners to huge retail outlets, none has been immune to the effects of strict lockdowns and minimal civilian movement. The fashion industry, that had been an economic success year after year, is also facing a new-fangled situation. A structural change is emerging, with new trends and opportunities for those looking to make a career in the industry.

The Overriding Need to Redefine Fashion

With most fashion outlets shutting shop due to worldwide lockdowns, the industry’s supply chain has been disrupted and brought to a grinding halt. Fast-fashion brands with razor-thin profit margins have especially borne the brunt and are closing stores across the world. Retailers have cancelled manufacturing orders, even those under-way due to virtually no demand for garments. Physical runways are menacingly silent with no paparazzi and top fashion critics to elevate their grandeur.

COVID-19’s supply chain effect on the fashion industry and the need for safety and physical distancing are compelling the fashion industry to rethink the way they do business. And given the uncertain circumstances, the consequent change seems to be more of a reset than a mere pause.

Changing Trends: Fashion Goes Virtual

The fashion calendar of the future seems ambiguous, but with interesting new opportunities. In an attempt to keep the world’s fastest-growing industry still afloat, top-tier designers and fashion institutes are rigorously taking the virtual route – from fashion designing, showcasing, to education. As such, virtual designing and the launch of virtual fashion shows have become the top two trends amid the pandemic crisis. Moreover, online on-demand fashion is expected to see substantial growth. No matter the present dire circumstances, this spells some relief for the fashion industry in terms of ironing out its supply chain wrinkles.

The revival of the runway has already begun with Giorgio Armani live-streaming his February Milan Fashion Week collection in the wake of sky-rocketing cases in Italy. Even the prestigious Haute Couture Fashion Week of Paris had taken an all-digital route in partnership with platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Google. The Indian fashion industry has also pressed the reset button with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) releasing an announcement teaser on digital showcases. Luxury Indian brands like Lakme has announced its ‘first-ever phygital’ fashion week to support designers and artisans.

Technology is Bringing in New Career Opportunities

With the paradigm shift are coming exciting opportunities to explore new avenues and develop new skill-sets. 3D garment simulation software and applications are helping fashion designers create true-to-life, digital-only clothing styles and showcase their creativity to worldwide spectators from the comfort of their homes. The gaming concept of purchasing digital clothing items and accessories might just spill itself into the physical world of fashion as well. Eminent Indian institutes such as the Pearl Academy of Fashion have already taken the lead in this area. The academy had joined hands with the renowned Media Design School of New Zealand back in 2016 to equip budding designers in the field of virtual designing with the help of creative, immersive technologies such as 3D animation, visual effects, and Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Amidst the pandemic chaos and supply chain headaches, technology is proving to be the silver lining for the fashion industry – a wide number of career opportunities are also expected to pop up as a result, with the most prominent being that of virtual designers and virtual personal stylists.

The initial frozen state of the fashion industry is beginning to warm up; the industry may have slowed down physically, but virtually, fashion enthusiasts from across the world are missing out on nothing – from the spectacle of one-of-a-kind handmade runway styles to expanding apparel designing capabilities – all courtesy of technology.

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