In light of a global health crisis sweeping across the international economy, Italian luxury retailers battled against financial odds to present their collections both in September during fashion month and beyond. However, if one delves deeper into the reasons why the financial struggles are facing unforeseen times, one can discover that many of the problems that are being highlighted are a magnification of issues that the world has carried on for years: reducing footfall for brick and mortar retail spaces, the relevance of fashion weeks, the snail’s pace acceptance of digitisation and technology are amongst the gripes we’ve been battling with for a long time.
Covid-19 hasn’t created a new existential crisis, but it has highlighted the one we were working through at our leisure. Sustainability is another area where, in particularly fashion, brands have been making improvements and there have already been calls from many areas of the industry, including from buyers, consumers and brands themselves, to ensure that we do not undo the steps that have been made. After all, when the Covid-19 pandemic has been managed, we will still have to tackle the climate crisis. All those in the fashion industry should consider the changes they can make to improve their own business sustainability – we aren’t far away from the time where business partners, clients and consumers will start asking you, ‘Is your business being socially responsible?’.
In addition, as much as the pandemic has thrown our business lives into turmoil, it also provides us with opportunities for our industry to create better product and reduce waste. It is giving us the space to work out how to have a productive dialog with our consumers and integrate their feedback, values and wants into the products we create. It provides brands the opportunity to work on really understanding their customer through direct-to-consumer channels, providing insights which they would not gain through wholesale. The Italian market seem to have faced a crucial turning point this season: Evening Dresses Show (Edshow) – Salerno Organised by IFTA (Independent Fashion Talent Association), with the collaboration and support of Ice – Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalisation of Italian companies – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Campania Region, Municipality and Chamber of Commerce of Salerno, Edshow has selected 40 brands in the eight southern Italian regions (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily) which, during the three days of the show (10-12 October) have a Digital-area where they can make themselves known to buyers connected to the 78 Ice offices worldwide. The October event aims to consecrate Salerno as the capital of evening fashion, but also as a fashion hub for the best micro and small businesses in Southern Italy. Like the 23 bells, the most representative symbol of the show, followed by Puglia, with 7 companies, Sicily with 4 and Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and Sardinia, with one company for each Region.
“Italy has always been associated with innovation and I have always been impressed with the talent emerging from Ed Show,” remarked the recent notes. “The competing collections looked to the future of Catalan fashion design while maintaining all the cultural references that have makes 080 one of our favourite fashion destinations.” While all of the brands and designers who showcased their collections over the week captured our attention in different ways, once again the Italian market hasn’t failed its great knack for craftsmanship.