This pandemic has swept over the entire world and will change us. In fact, it has already changed us. It pushed us to inner reflection. Silence has come upon us and inevitably drove us to listen to us, to rethink our lives when we will go back out there once the Covid-19 emergency will be over. Someone says that we will forget quickly. But such a strong experience will leave indelible marks. We will resume our routine, it is true, but we will not be the same. From the fashion world, the first to raise the alarm is Giorgio Armani.
The designer from Piacenza through WWD, the most important American fashion and luxury newspaper, invites us to review the rules of the fashion system. Coronavirus will have a significant socio-economic impact. Like any great “revolution” it will change the most intimate aspects of society. It will change our way of being and how we want to look to others. We will dress differently, in the wake of those cozy habits we have acquired in these long weeks of quarantine. We will be less likely to waste. And no longer will we buy the latest fashion news irrationally, but we will focus on durable clothes. We will return to the “sparse, but lean”. Spare wardrobe, essential for people who look at life from another perspective.
Armani: “We’ll find a more human dimension”
“No more waste of money for the shows – writes Armani in his open letter to WWD – (…) the moment we are going through is turbulent, but it offers us the opportunity, truly unique, to fix what is wrong, to take away the superfluous, to find a more human dimension. This is perhaps the most important lesson we are learning from this crisis.”
According to Armani, the magnificent shows to present the collections around the world, “today seem inappropriate and even vulgar“. The designer informs that with his team, since the Italian government has blocked all non-essential economic activities, he has been working on summer collections. Unlike what has happened so far, they will remain in stores until the end of September. “And so I intend to do from now on,” writes Armani. “The decline of the fashion system, as we know it, began when the luxury sector adopted the fast fashion operating procedures with the continuous delivery cycle, hoping to sell more. I don’t want to work that way anymore, it’s immoral ”. “I have always believed – concludes the designer – in an idea of timeless elegance (…) This crisis is a wonderful opportunity to slow down everything, to realign everything, to draw a more authentic and true horizon“.
Fashion gets a new look
That the fashion system was at a bit of a crossroads was in the air already. Consumption was taking a new direction and now this forced isolation will push us on new paths. And not just Armani, many others are underlining the change taking place. Even Lidewij Edelkoort, one of the most important and influential fashion experts in the world, speaks of “rethinking values“. Textile sector is facing a difficult period. The whole system risks collapse. This “quarantine of consumption“, as Edelkoort defined it in an interview with Dezeen, will definitely change the way we choose what to draw, what to produce, how much to produce and how to buy. The brands capable of accepting this challenge and aiming for a revolution and rationalization of their productions will win.
Back to minimal
This pandemic has started a profound reflection on the current business models of the fashion world. We will aim at minimal and we will no longer be tempted by another low-cost trousers, because we will tend towards more prudent purchases.
Armani has shown that he has the sensitivity to grasp what has been going on for some time. Even before the alarm broke out in Italy, the designer decided to parade behind closed doors at Milan fashion week. Live on Instagram. Before the government stopped all non-essential commercial activities, he had already closed the Armani Hotels. He has made important donations to hospitals involved in the fight against Covid-19. Finally, he converted its production to produce disposable coats for health workers. An almost exclusively handmade production or with sewing machines. We need to look at our future differently. Now is the time to change.