A world of chaos?
The fashion industry as we know it on its way out – time for a reset
We, and by ‘we’ I mean every single one of us, are currently experiencing a paradigm shift that we could never have envisaged. We are in the middle of a global crisis. We’re living in a pandemic. We’re all f****d! Or are we?
After all, it’s down to us to find out whether ‘c’ is for crisis or for chance. The weakest are being rudely awakened, the strong are pressing ahead and those who were foundering anyway will really have to put their noses to the grindstone in the weeks and months ahead. But if there’s one thing everyone has in common is that we’ve all found the past few weeks to be tough, really tough in fact.
When news of the COVID-19 virus first emerged in Europe at the beginning of the year, we were still in a phase of blissful ignorance. But after the denial came the major shock; after the major shock came the lethargy; and after the lethargy came hope, followed by an urge to bounce right back into action. Welcome to the most absurd year that we could have ever imagined and welcome to issue #80, which feels like it was put together in a surreal realm somewhere between regular everyday life and Armageddon.
But what is it we want to provide you, our readers, with this issue? The answer is optimism, routine and also food for thought.
After all, how are we supposed to continue with business as usual when everything has been turned on its head? How many Zoom calls can compensate for a chat around the water-cooler? Which topics should we report on, and which ones are already old hat by the time we’ve checked our e-mails the next morning? One thing’s for sure: we’re being inundated with more and more news notifications by the hour. It seems like there’s no end to the questions and the uncertainty. There is clearly a real need to talk, and open communication hasn’t been this important in a very long time. Now is not the time to keep up the façade; transparency is required. That’s why we want to be a partner, a mouthpiece, a window, a distraction and a source of inspiration all at the same time. In times of social distancing, let’s come even closer together and help wherever we can.
Tradeshows, the epicentre of the industry, are being especially hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. As a result of the government restrictions in place, one date after the next has been cancelled and therefore also important lifelines of the fashion business. In our tradeshow special, you will find a far-reaching look into the future of this industry sector. We also spoke to Munich Fabric Start’s Sebastian Klinder about visionary ideas and the importance of trade fairs. And in an interview, Frédéric Bougeard from Texworld Paris also explains why relevance doesn’t actually have anything to do with the tradeshow format.
As many of us are asking ourselves what the new normal will be, author Karolina Landowski is seeking the answers in our cover feature. And you can also read my musings on how the world will carry on turning after the crisis.
Whether we want it to or not: the fashion industry, along with all its leading actors and extras, needs to change, especially as we are currently seeing just how fragile our system is. Let’s put these new insights to good use. Oh, and yes, if you ask me, ‘c’ is definitely for chance…
Stay healthy and strong,
Cheryll Mühlen & team