Everyone of us, at least once in a lifetime, has experimented the need of stop and restar from zero. Delete the accumulation and wipe the slate clean.
This is more or less what the British Fashion Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America wish for the future. In such a confusional state, the best solution seems to dictate bright new ideas in order to restart. This is the aim of their manifesto, recently published and spread through social media. The Covid-19 happens at just the right time, and it creates the perfect ridge between the fashion of yesterday and the future one. Often, when we want to change our life, we wait for the “right time” to do it, be it Monday, the beginning of the new year or, less traditionally, a pandemic. Resetting would therefore mean saving only the most important values the system is based on, redefining deadlines, seasons and presentation methods. Sanitize the system.
It is not an easy accomplishment, of course, and at the moment the idea is still in its incubational period. First of all, it is important to understand how many professionals in the field will happily marry the change. Designers and creatives will perhaps be relieved by the decision, because changing the system means firstly slowing it down and making it a more peaceful workspace. Those working with finance will probably think differently. Such a resolution would undoubtedly compromise the revenue streams we are used to, and would change many balances. In any case, we are once again facing the essential need to work in team. This is a decision that must be taken together and that must be respected by everybody, because only under this condition it can pay off in the long run.
The two national Councils speak first of all to the leaders in the market, but the chain effect would be inevitable and would involve everyone gradually. Slowing down, as we said, would be the first step towards change, with a consequent decrease in production and a logical realignment with seasons. Instead of traveling six months ahead, the delivery schedule should change, and garments should “arrive in-store when the customer actually needs them”. It would be desirable to have no more than two main collections per year, anticipated by (very) limited pre-collections presented in showrooms only.
More time to create gives back (much needed) oxygen to a system that is based primarily on ideas and on their elaboration – a practice hardly controlled by pre-defined deadlines. Such a decision would also perfectly answer to the renewed interest for personal space and private life we are experimented lately. The system can thus become more sustainable and healthy, from a psychological point of view.
Lastly, the BFC and the CFDA underline once again the importance of keeping the traditional fashion capitals as the meeting points, alleviating in this way the struggles of buyers and journalists, without forcing them to travel continuously to participate in the presentations all around the world.