When was the last time you bought clothing? If you’re like millions of other people, COVID-19 made fashion a slipping priority in your life. Many have been strapped for cash due to closing businesses and job losses, but your choice not to buy clothes probably has more to do with the simple fact that you haven’t needed to.
The fashion industry has suffered during COVID-19 as a whole, and this includes luxury high fashion brands. As with regular fashion, this is not just because people are broke but because the rich and famous don’t need the ultimate high fashion for digital events. Even if they want to look good for photos, the details are not as important when no one is there to see the real thing close up (before Photoshop does its job).
But what does this mean for the future of high fashion? Is it going to rebound or will it need to become more affordable? Here are some reasons the latter is possible.
One reason high fashion may become more affordable is more to do with our perception of it. The problem with spending so much money on an outfit or handbag is that we’re not used to hanging onto fashion items for more than a year. However, the way we view fashion is changing.
Over the past year, we have learned that we can keep a piece of fashion with us indefinitely if we are working from home and don’t need to get dressed up very often. In the same way that many people splash out for designer glasses that will last them for years, high fashion outfits may suddenly seem worth it.
Second-hand designer fashion
Another reason high fashion is becoming cheaper is a bit more sobering. The pandemic has made many people reconsider their priorities, especially if they have lost a lot of money and need to do what they can to survive. Having a designer outfit sitting in the closet or a designer handbag waiting to be used has started to seem wasteful for many.
More people than ever are selling their high fashion second-hand. The items being sold are still in great condition, considering they haven’t been overused. Many lovers of fashion are therefore buying used designer brands.
This has made selling first-hand items somewhat more difficult for designer brands. They are seeing demand drop even more than is justified by the economic strife and the consequences of social distancing.
For lovers of designer brands, the idea of them becoming affordable fashion is titillating. Most people would prefer to buy something brand new, but when you have the option to get something unaffordable at a discount price, you take it.
Affordable online living
There’s another reason high fashion is becoming cheaper, and that is because the accessibility of online shopping has driven prices down in fashion across the board. With online shopping, it is easier to compare items and find the best option at the best price. It also becomes easier to find outlets that are less well-known but offer more affordable clothing.
This is particularly true when it comes to buying designer glasses. The eyewear industry has primarily managed to stay offline for the past two decades. Conventional wisdom states that you have to see an optometrist in person and physically try the glasses on. But now you can go online and order a pair according to the prescription you already have. You can even use virtual tools to see whether a pair suits your face. Instead of having salespeople showing you the costliest options, you can see everything available.
The high fashion industry is struggling like many other industries. And, as with other industries, it will have to adapt in order to survive. This may be good news for fashion lovers, who will see brands they have dreamed about becoming affordable. High fashion is never going to be cheap – it needs to remain exclusive. But that exclusivity might just widen.
-In Collaboration with Digita Content Zone