"Don’t tell customers what they want, serve them"
‘Don’t tell customers what they want, serve them.’ This was the common thread throughout last week’s Fashion Roundtable webinar for the continuing discussion of what’s ‘The New Normal’ in our creative industry post pandemic?
Fashion Roundtable, CEO & Founder Tamara Cincik was joined by an inspiring line up of women all leading the change for our fashion industry to be better. Fashion & Creative Consultant Bev Malik, Fashion Journalist, Psychologist & Creative Consultant Jelena Soldatovic of Aska Wolf, Sustainable Fashion Designer & Futurist Anna Schuster along with Fashion Journalist and Consultant Fiona McKenzie-Johnston.
Currently, lockdown has forced our creative industry to question everything from top to bottom when it comes to their current business models. During the discussions, it appeared brands, not all, have lost their way with defining who they are and who they want to be, with the missing link being, who are they serving?
Now, it seems, is a key time for brands and designers to reassess their identity within the industry, take a step back to realign with what’s important— the biggest king being the customer. At least that’s what we all hope will happen, and not just pick up from where they left pre-pandemic.
Whether we like it or not, creatives, designers & brands are responsible for being one of the biggest polluters on the planet and are supporting this system of destruction through the cycle of fast consumerism creating tonnes of clothes we don’t and didn’t necessarily, even need prior to the corona-virus lockdown.
The fast fashion bubble has to burst and brands have to begin to realign themselves with the need, not the want of their customer. Influencer economy business models need to stop, trend led fashion needs to stop and opportunities to design for real women who enjoy the self-expression fashion gives to them without killing the planet, needs to start.
Our connection with garments is simply lost in fashion and all the stories faded away when the off-shoring of UK garment manufacturing began back in the 70s. We need to showcase communities using their skills & craftsmanship to create our garments. This is a powerful tool to educate customers on the transparency and the story of who made their clothes.
‘We need responsible capitalism which recognises and rewards talent the whole way through the supply chain’ - Bev Malik
Bring back a sense of collaborative spirit between designers and brands by breaking the competitive barriers to show that sharing knowledge and learning from each other is a way to bring more sustainable and ethical practice to the creative industry.
So how would the new normal of our creative industry look like post pandemic?
We need a new reality to our industry. The old business models need to break and regimented conditions which have been instilled since education from the 15-piece collections twice a year, the extravagant shows need to stop and supporting designers taking their talents further by diversifying their skills working on other creative avenues such as interior design.
Editorials need to rip up the old visuals on how they currently portray fashion in the magazines by compiling new visions for customers— such as how to reconnect with their wardrobes, embrace individual style and encourage the wearing of last season pieces with the new season.
Designers need to show good design, not simply fashion, by asking customers want they need. Retail is all about service, serve not tell, all the while keeping them inspired for their individual self.
On a whole, our creative industry needs to come together, communicate and collaborate without human cost.If you’d like to watch the Webinar in full, please click HERE.
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