Unexpected, sudden, devastating. The Covid19 pandemic has infected well over 600,000 people worldwide along with most of the productive and economic sectors globally. Fashion is one of them. What will the post-Coronavirus fashion world be like? We talk about it together with Caterina Giraldi, founder and creator of Veraroad, interviewed by Camilla Zanolla, of Press Office Pierluigi Bacci & Associati.
Given what is happening worldwide, what kind of repercussions do you think this crisis will have on the world of fashion? Will trends change?
I think there will be a big downsizing in this area. In the medium term, I feel positive and I believe in the support that is offered to us from many sides, but at the moment, it is difficult to predict exactly what the extent of this economic crisis will be.
Large clothing companies, both mass and luxury brands, will have to scale down or reinvent themselves considerably and I fear that the purchasing power of most consumers will be strongly diminished.
Let’s say that this tragic virus has caused the collapse of a situation that was in fact already in great crisis and that needed renewal. Let’s think of end customers and their behavior towards an upcoming macro trend: who will want to spend large amounts to renew their wardrobe? Let us also think of all the manufacturing companies in the third world that until today employed millions of people in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and China. Who will take care of them now? We think of the whole tertiary sector that supported the world of fashion, intermediaries and the marketing sector. They too will have to renew themselves and find new solutions. We must also think about all the unsold goods and the mass of stock that all companies currently hold. All these goods will be injected onto the market at discounted prices without leaving companies a margin. To get out of this situation, you need to invest in sustainability, to have a more aware attitude on purchases, on organic products, on the protection of local products and on the high quality of the products that guarantees their durability over time.
“LESS IS MORE” is not only a slogan, but a real commitment for many companies. Sustainability becomes a necessity for human survival.
Do you think there will also be a change in the sale of products? For example, do you think all of this will favor online sales to the detriment of physical stores, or will it all come back as before?
Technology has given the opportunity to keep people together in the world of business and work, and has given the opportunity to stay at home with the loved ones and work with more awareness but by dedicating more time to the family. If we want to see it positively, many have understood that often we can work in a different and better way.
At the beginning of the health emergency, online purchases of consumer goods increased and some companies started making discounts to speed up sales.
I believe that the e-commerce sector will be “privileged” compared to before and that companies will be in a position to create interactive and interesting online boutiques; both for business to customers and for business to business.
In this lockdown period, many people are spending most of their time online, connecting with the whole world. But there will also be a great need to relive the social dimension, to return to human relationships, and for the fashion world to return to personalized and emotional sales. In this case, the businesses that will be able to reinvent themselves, that will create emotions and interest, responding to people’s needs, both online and offline, will be privileged.
The only positive data at the moment is the large worldwide decrease in pollution. Satellite images show that the Earth has returned to breathe, do you think that at the end of all this there will be greater attention to the environment and sustainability?
I think it is necessary to ask many questions. From the industrial revolution to today there has been an incredible escalation and, while respecting industriousness, the jobs and the well-being generated for multitudes, this economic model has also created a degradation of the environment and the planet. This has caused negative consequences for health and lifestyle, from the increasingly poor quality of food to the lack of oxygen.
Earth is breathing now, people are breathing. We are experiencing a shock, for many unfortunately very painful, which has awakened many consciences and also brought out the voice of many who were already fighting for a better world, a world in which there is the awareness that we are all connected, wherever we are.
We will return to being free to feed ourselves, get dressed, live sociality, express our talents, do a job we like, live with dignity. For this reason, it is not possible to stop and totally modify an economic process, but we will require much more responsibility, a real revolution of consciences: in purchases, in discernment about quality, in the exploitation of the environment. Less speculation, less corruption and more substance.
We can venture that it is a big step back that will make us move forward healthier and happier.
What are Veraroad’s future plans after this experience? Something has definitely changed in all of us, this battle has made us reflect on many things… Which are the points you would like to convey through Veraroad?
We have time to reflect and we are asking ourselves many questions. Our path was already directed towards a different business, attentive to the environment and promoting high quality, durable purchases, locally produced with natural fabrics. Now we find ourselves, like other small companies, to have few resources, having unfortunately lost an entire season, but we hope to recover soon.
Fortunately, our product is not only “fashion”, it is not very seasonal and is always current.
We must reinvent a new formula closer to our customers, creating a more intimate and trusting relationship, and giving them a “dress” for the soul, which makes them feel alive and full of joy.
We’ll make it!
In this moment when we must stay home, which Veraroad garment would you recommend to feel beautiful and feminine even with a comfortable look?
Surely our PJs, colorful, comfortable and beautiful and our Verabhodi line for leisure, inspired by yoga.