Are Digital Showrooms The Future For fashion Buyers?

 As the fashion calendar continues to pass by with events continually being cancelled and buyers having to cancel their travel plans, Individuals within the industry are beginning to question how will next seasons fashion reach retails and consumers? Although e-commerce has been available for a long time now and even more popular during this global pandemic,  over the years buyers have gotten into a routine of flying all around the world visiting different showrooms experiencing the stores, meeting the designers, getting the full picture of a brand in order to pick the best items to go in selected retailers. Unable to go through this process, many brands have had to rethink how they will be marketing and getting out their latest collections, this is not just an issue affecting smaller brands but effecting globally recognised brands too. On last weeks Vogue Global conversations Marc Jacobs discussed his uncertainty about his next collection and opened up about his anxieties, expressing his doubts over whether their even will be a spring/summer collection. Despite the available technology online with digital showrooms brands are struggling to prepare for such unforeseeable circumstances. 

Just last month JOOR a digital wholesale platform partnered with Ordre another digital wholesale platform to allow brands to upload 360-degree images created through Ordre-owned Orb360 technology on the platform. With this kind of technology, there’s hope for the fashion world to continue as best as it can and adapt in news ways that may provide better and more sustainable solutions, we can use in the future. 

Visual Retailing — Taking Retail and Wholesale Experiences to ...

The fashion industry within Europe is following China as they have found ways to tackle some of the earlier issues that arose due to the Coronavirus. Shanghai Fashion Week was the first to move completely digital presenting collections using the power of social media and technology to share live streaming videos and AR show providing more opportunities to sell directly to the public and interest a range of buyers than those that would only be able to attend the shows. With London fashion week announcing news to proceed with the shows in June only this year digitally and with both menswear and womenswear the world will be watching curiously to see how they pull it off in comparison to Tokyo and Shanghai fashion week.  

“Despite all the solutions being presented and questions on how the fashion industry will look post COVID-19  brands as well as buyers will still prefer to physically see and touch clothing as nothing quite beats the real thing . 

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“The brands enjoyed the opportunity to be in a retail space because they were able to be more creative about telling their brand story and showing buyers what their pieces looked like in a retail environment,” writes Aroma Xie, co-founder of Ontimeshow.

Brands around the world are coming up with ways to stay connected with their buyers in a time of crisis. Their solutions include creating virtual showrooms and facetime. Perhaps there is a silver liner to all this, brands, retailers, buyers, sellers and generally, everyone in the fashion industry has been forced to adapt and look for new ways to work, this means we have discovered when in crisis and dire need we are able to create solutions and fast.  If we put this effort into creating solutions for global warming, excessive waste and creating more sustainable and ethical fashion, the industry could transform in a short amount of time. We will be looking forward to seeing some of the ways innovation will change the fashion industry for the better.

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