With the challenges and changes that come with a global pandemic, brands are finding creative ways to stay relevant and true to their values. Whether by chance or choice, we’ve already witnessed some incredible brand transformations as a result of COVID-19 which have helped inspire and fuel our own creativity. We’ve shared stories of just 7 creative brands that have recently stood out in the hope of inspiring others to get creative and think outside the box. Who knows, our best work could come from this period of our lives.
After the announcement of critically low supplies of hand sanitiser, many brands offered up their factories and resources to help with supplies. Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH was no different, offering up their fragrance production sites to produce hospital-grade hand sanitiser, free of charge to health care facilities across France. Not only was this one of the quickest responses to the shortage but it also helped redefine the meaning of ‘luxury goods’ right now.
Renowned for their forward-thinking masterpiece publications, Vogue Italia released their April issue featuring a blank white cover for the first time in history. Relying on the latest fashion culture, trends and entertainment Vogue Italia would struggle to produce let alone market their April issue. Instead, they chose to lean into their community, acknowledging the situation and honouring Italy’s healthcare workers with a blank cover. “To speak of anything else — while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever — is not the DNA of Vogue Italia,” wrote editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti.
While the contents of April’s issue featured work from creatives and artists adapting to their home surroundings, a white cover was chosen to symbolise a brighter future.“Above all:” Farneti says “White is not surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a news story that is about to begin.” Vogue Italia’s bold choice will be remembered in fashion publication history.
While it may seem that the fashion world is on pause, with retailers closed and photoshoots cancelled, Simon Porte Jaquemus didn’t let those barriers dim his creativity. Instead, he teamed up with Bella Hadid to shoot a campaign from home. While we’re struggling to change from our AM PJ’s to our PM PJ’s, the French designer is out here directing a photoshoot via FaceTime.
In a sense, these shots allowed us to connect more with both the brand and model by putting a spotlight on these current events – we are all sharing a common ground and trying to get creative with this window in time.
London Fashion Week
A new door has been opened by the British Fashion Council this month as they announce that for the next 12 months, all London Fashion Weeks will merge womenswear and menswear into one gender-neutral digital platform, to allow designers greater flexibility. June’s London Fashion Week will transform into a new digital-only format and be supported by industry partners like GQ, INC, Mercedes-Benz, Facebook, Google and Amazon to help British designers reach new audiences. Caroline Rush CBE, BFC Chief Executive says “Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.”
We couldn’t agree more Caroline and we can’t wait to experience this new wave of fashion storytelling.
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Luxury brand names like Prada and Gucci were not the only ones to adapt their garment manufacturing. Australian fashion label Scanlan Theodore also announced that they too would be repurposing their factory in Fiji to begin producing essential PPE equipment for healthcare workers including masks and gowns. Not only did this help our most vulnerable healthcare workers, but it meant that Scanlan Theodore employees continued to work during this time.
Continuing with an Australian trend, Melbourne based label E Nolan approached COVID 19 from another angle. Quickly realising that her business in made-to-measure suiting would be unsustainable during this time, Emily Nolan transitioned her production to custom-made ‘sleeping suits’ instead. A quick-thinking and creative use of talent we would say! Emily now offers a range of luxurious bedtime outfits adored by her loyal customers as well as breaking into a whole new market of sleepwear shoppers.
Australian Style Institute
Here at Australian Style Institute, your love for fashion and dreams of styling shouldn’t be put on hold. This period of uncertainty is temporary but your career and future is not, which is why in March, we launched our Certificate of Fashion Styling as an immersive online experience. This provides aspiring stylists with easy access to our classroom virtually from anywhere in the world (even in your stylish PJs). Guided by our industry leaders and supported by an Online Resource Library (the world’s largest might we add), students are able to use this period of isolation to learn and evolve amongst an incredible community of like-minded creatives. We’ve had such an overwhelmingly positive response from future stylists around the globe, hear what they had to say here. So, you can expect to see and hear a lot more from us online! We’re choosing to use this time to educate for future success, are you with us?
We could share so many more amazing stories from the fashion industry about their adaptations to a time of isolation, and even more about what the future of fashion will look like. For now, we hope these stories sparked the creative within you and helped fuel your passion for helping others.