Fashinnovation: Fashion is Now - Key Takeaways From the Event

Paloma Ahlstrand Byrne

On February 11th, Fashinnovation hosted their large-scale virtual event, ‘Fashion is Now’, featuring leaders across the industry who spoke on everything from sustainability to technology. The 4th edition featured keynote talks, panel discussions, 3D virtual showrooms, workshops, and more, and in today’s article, we cover the key takeaways from the live event by Fashinnovation.

Fashinnovation: Fashion is Now – Key Takeaways From the Event

Authenticity, sustainability, innovation, and holistic business practices

Consumers are getting more and more interested in quality over quantity in all aspects of the fashion industry. They are turning to companies that offer transparency and are open about their business approaches and practices. Businesses in turn are seeking ways to integrate technology into their processes, for both efficiencies as well as sustainability and therefore generating a circular business in all aspects.

Gen-Z encourages this and expresses a greater fearlessness in their approach to the fashion industry, with authenticity and genuine care for people and the environment at the heart of it. Global inclusivity is also extremely important to both companies and generations today as consumers want to see representation in as many ways as possible, through branding, packaging, marketing, and partnerships. 

Fashion is now

Fashion at the center of community and culture and the industry is experiencing a rapid digital transformation. There is change in all areas and as fashion is now brands, designers, and innovators are changing their way of doing things to “stop making excuses.”

Speakers called on brands to showcase sustainable practices by implementing an action-oriented network to achieve responsibility goals. Author Dana Thomas spoke about fashion’s environmental impact, stating that the industry is being forced towards a more “principled value system”, due to the rise of conscientious consumers. She mentioned that as technology changes and innovation increases, there are new ways to alter the process, pointing out Stella McCartney as a pioneer who produces fabrics in a non-detrimental way.

Entering new markets 

Sofia Guellaty, founder of Mille World spoke about fashion’s increasingly global focus by building bridges between east & west. She honed in on the opportunities in the Middle East – with “50 billion dollars in fashion sales” coming from this region as consumers who spend “6 times as much as the Chinese market.” She also noted the increase of more independent and regional brands, as people wish to direct their cash flow into supporting local businesses especially in light of the pandemic. The biggest challenge for brands trying to expand into new regions is the different communication channels, processes, nuances, and more. Whilst brands may have the product to sell, they may not have the means of connecting effectively with consumers, and so she suggests focusing on building micro-communities rather than millions of followers en mass. 

React to change by altering your marketing playbook

Revolve’s Raissa Gerona spoke primarily about the brand’s need to totally change the way they market to consumers in response to new demands and expectations. Before, Revolve focused on aspirational elements of travel, going out, and getting dressed up, embedding this heavily into their marketing strategy. However, due to Covid, this rapidly changed. More people were looking into lounge and activewear, and “Revolve around the world because Revolve around the house.” They needed to show their community a new side of the brand and so launched an influencer-focused campaign that showcased their expanded product offering in direct response to changing interests. This change also forced them to look closer at their target customers and geographics that they activate in their influencer marketing strategy, which has, in turn, become more sophisticated.

There has been a shift in this type of content from mostly fashion-oriented to that of a deeper level, as “consumers feel a need to know why they should shop certain brands, and influencers need to connect with their followers emotionally.”

Revolve also launched a mentorship program to support Black-owned brands and designers in order to help before and after launch processes with assistance, brand-building, advice, and more. As Raissa states, the brand wants to lead in a more impactful direction, by giving its shoppers a sense of purpose and focusing on what is important to them.

We hope you enjoyed reading the key takeaways from Fashinnovation: Fashion is Now! You can still catch up if you missed it by watching the full video from the summit.

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