The post-Covid Challenge for fashion: authenticity and roots
The coronavirus has sent shock waves through the heart of our society, but it also represents an opportunity to build a new way of life, new consumer habits and a new way to dress.
The pandemic has affected us all and, in many ways, has been a force for democratization. We have all realized that we are connected. We are living through times of widespread inclusivity, diversity and reconstruction of identities, in which it is more important than ever to maintain dialogue with society through our collections and communication actions in order to understand how the lives of our customers are changing and what their needs are now.
For a brand such as ours, which is going back to its roots, the post-COVID-19 world is mostly the same. We just need to keep following the path we are already on. We will no doubt encounter obstacles along the way but distinctiveness – being profoundly different – is still extremely important because there are too many doppelgängers in the market today and it’s all too easy to become just one more of many. Authenticity is important in today’s world. In this world of fake news, it’s important to be able to believe. Our proposal for the fashion world is not that we all dress in one brand or another but rather that we all dress as ourselves.
Making a commitment to our roots does not mean standing still. We need to constantly reinterpret our values from a renewed perspective and add innovation.
The only road to recovery that makes sense in fashion, regardless of the context or crisis in question, is to connect with your DNA, your identity, with the values that make you who you are as a brand
The only road to recovery that makes sense in fashion, regardless of the context or crisis in question, is to connect with your DNA, your identity, with the values that make you who you are as a brand because they flow naturally from your added value proposition in the market. In our case, we have harnessed this forced downturn to make contact with our client and get to know them better. We have launched a series of focus groups over the course of the last few weeks aimed at understanding how life is changing, how they see us, which characteristics and values they judge us by and to work on those issues from the foundations of a renewed reality. A different reality.
In the post-COVID world, leisure is increasingly more digital and domestic. For textiles, spending more time at home means the acceleration of online shopping but also more comfortable, more loose-fitting clothes and the need to adapt our collections to these new circumstances. Informality is on the rise.
New fears and insecurities might arise around returning to the shops after lockdown, so we need to keep one step ahead. We have strengthened our online and customer service teams in order to help those customers with the least experience in this process. We strongly believe that innovation will play a key role in emerging from this crisis. With that in mind, we thought it was the perfect time to launch an innovation project we have already been working on for a year. DNA. A digital service that incorporates certain facets of artificial intelligence and that we have developed alongside a company that works for NASA.
A new consumption model
The reality is that we live on a delicate planet and that we are covered by a layer of blue so fragile that we have to look after it. It is also true that we can do things better when we step back to look at the bigger picture. When you know better, you do better.
The brands and lifestyles people adopt, the values people uphold, combine to create philosophies for many people, produce identities and even lead to the creation of tribes.
We stand on the cusp of a huge opportunity for companies such as ours, companies with values. Adolfo Domínguez released an Animal Welfare Manifesto ten years ago. Our client wasn’t asking us for it, but it was our way of seeing the changes we could make to improve the world. And our client accepted it.
Nowadays, 80% of the accessories we sell are vegan and we don’t use exotic furs or feathers in our textile collection. However, we are also the company that made linen fashionable in the 1980s, which is more sustainable because it grows in more northern latitudes where less water and pesticides are needed.
The most important thing for us now is to reflect on consumer habits, on the frenetic pace of life and the disposable lifestyle. We do not believe in built-in obsolescence: garments that are designed to come apart at the seams, to fade or have a style that will go out of fashion quickly. For us, sustainability means a dress that will last 10 years. Our commitment to timelessness also means a commitment to quality and to something very difficult to achieve: to be in fashion and for that fashion to last. That is our art.