Virtual Catwalks and Digital Fashion: How COVID-19 Is Changing The Fashion Industry – Forbes

Written by Brooke Roberts-Islam

As the reality of life under lockdown in many countries around the world sets in, the future looks uncertain. Despite the absence of a clear end-date for the novel coronavirus pandemic, the latest indications are that social distancing will last until a vaccine is available, which is predicted to take 12-18 months.

At this time of reflection, we can pause and consider the systems within which we work, and see them breaking down around us. The fashion industry’s predictive, seasonal systems have long been labelled out-of-date, broken and wasteful, with the consequences piling up in landfills around the world. But what impact will the COVID-19 crisis have on reshaping the fashion industry? When we get back on our feet, how will the fashion industry have changed?

In part one of this fashion industry insights piece, I asked fashion experts with their finger on the pulse of consumer sentiment, branding and retail what they believe the effects of COVID-19 will be.

Matthew Drinkwater, Head of the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) at the London College of Fashion, says that his team’s workload has escalated sharply during the crisis. The agency develops immersive consumer experiences that bring technology giants including Microsoft MSFT and LucasFilm together with leading fashion brands. Why the surge in demand, I asked? The FIA are experts at delivering digital fashion solutions that defy physical limitations and even reality, and Drinkwater explained that there is a dramatic shift towards digital solutions at this time of mass quarantine.

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By Valerie Barrios
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