As the fashion industry at large navigates a seismic transformation, we are also wondering what it all means for us. As you unearth your closet, though, sartorial solecisms are splayed out across it, some are impulse purchases while some are thought-after ones we contacted a swath of people in our field and asked them how the pandemic has affected their buying choices. Will we get back to impulse purchases? Or there will be a thought behind everything see buy? Will fashion be bought as an investment piece? Here is what industry experts have to say
Designer Payal Jain: I have seen a lot of change in the buying pattern of our regular clients, during and post the pandemic situation. Firstly, most people are happy to stay in the comfort of their homes and shop though our website or social media platforms. They are much more relaxed in the buying process and also, ten to choose styles which are classic and timeless. Since not much social interactions are happening yet, people prefer to focus on Pret collections and tend to be price conscious. The special couture pieces are being selected for family weddings, be it on Zoom or in-person small scale events. Casual Pret, relaxed lounge wear, sports wear, fitness and Yoga gear has taken the world by storm and there is a huge shift in the buying preferences of people world wide. Priorities have shifted in the past few months and most people are preferring to buy relaxed, comfortable, easy to wear and maintain clothing, which can be used for multi tasking and staying home or stepping out. I have always believed ‘Less is More’ and my love for sustainable, organic and natural fabrics has been paramount since I started my label. Today, this has become a necessity for all of us and it’s no longer a whim or choice if we wish to sustain the planet we live on. Using natural yarns and textiles, vegetable dyes, sustainable practices in weaving, printing and garment production, biodegradable packaging, limiting water usage and wastage banning use of plastic and recycling or upcycling garments, as well as all waste materials generated in factories is the need of the hour, and what we are working towards, every single day. The strong shift towards all organic and natural has happened across the planet in the past few months. This is not simply about making a change in my mind set or value system, but what is necessary as a collective shift in intention, where each of us becomes conscious of the need of our planet, and differentiates between our ‘Need and Greed’. We must be mindful of what we buy, how much we use and discard, and how much sits somewhere in a landfill. As a designer, I strongly feel the need of the hour is to promote our local, indigenous crafts and textiles, which provide livelihood to our vast community of weavers, artisans’ and craftspersons. Today, when our very existence is in question, it is imperative for us to come together as a fraternity, with a collective commitment to drive this cause. All the work done in revival of traditional textiles & crafts may be lost, unless we decide to preserve our rich heritage as Indians.
Designer Abhinav Mishra: After gauging the current scenario, there has been a noticeable shift in the fashion industry. It is a perfect time for us to experiment and personalise experiences. I also think reusability and sustainability are a few parameters that are the guiding force of the decision making process for clients these days. One invests in pieces that they can experiment with and wear on different occasions. The versatility of an outfit is now determining its demand. Clients are conscious about the environment and want their clothing choices to reflect that as well. This is where slow fashion comes into the picture. We, at Abhinav Mishra, offer our clients a wide range of outfits to choose from, as per their comfort and taste. Since weddings are more intimate now, brides and guests are going for lighter outfits which eventually brings down the pricing as well, making it more affordable.
Fashion influencer Akanksha Redhu: I have honestly shopped very little during this entire time keeping my focus on essentials such as groceries and household/lifestyle items. For fashion/clothes I always find myself asking the question – do I need this? Because almost all times, I don’t. We all have enough clothes. I think buying behaviour has evolved and for the better I feel because I’ve noticed people wanted to know more about and shop more local/indie brands rather than your Zara and H&M. This helps support local talent, labour and homegrown handicrafts & fabrics. My fashion or lifestyle content has become a lot more real, my language has changed, I sound more me rather than a curated caption, my audience recognised with the sometimes frustrated time I use in my content because everybody is going through something right now. I try to keep it light and funny as much as possible.
Designer Kunal Anil Tanna: The Pandemic has had a lasting shadow on the global economy. It has made one realize the importance of sustainability. People have become very conscious of their priorities and have opted to plan accordingly. The luxury segment has faced a harsh brunt and it will take awhile before we see a substantial revival. However the upcoming festivities, people may want to bring back some cheer and in their own plan intimate celebrations. This does instigate the hope to boost fashion purchase, though however small. To meet the needs of such value for money buying patterns, we are planning to launch a relatively price-conscious and sustainable festive line. This is intended to satiate the festive vibe and also encourage easy purchase