The CFDA and British Fashion Council issued a joint statement last night about fashion’s future during the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving feedback from their members and stakeholders. The message began: “The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the fashion industry from every angle and severely impacting all the global fashion capitals, and there is no immediate end in sight, there is an opportunity to rethink and reset the way in which we all work and show our collections.”
Among the notable suggestions was a call for the fashion system to make a change. They’re encouraging brands, designers, and retailers to slow down. They are also calling for the delivery cadence to shift closer to the season which it is intended. (This is a point designers including Donna Karan have been pushing for years.) The CFDA and BFC are recommending designers focus on no more than two collections a year. They are calling for the end of pre-collection shows and suggesting designers bring the presentations back to their showrooms.
They are also recommending brands attempt to show during the regular fashion calendar and in one of the global fashion capitals in “order to avoid the strain on buyers and journalists traveling constantly. This too has placed tremendous stress on the industry and significantly increased each individual’s carbon footprint.”
The statement also acknowledged the importance of sustainability: “Sustainability is an important conversation in every industry. Through the creation of less product, with higher levels of creativity and quality, products will be valued and their shelf life will increase. The focus on creativity and quality of products, reduction in travel, and focus on sustainability (something we encourage of the entire industry) will increase the consumer’s respect and ultimately their greater enjoyment in the products that we create.”
All eyes are on Paris and Milan to see if they’ll adhere to these guidelines.