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LONDON, United Kingdom — For Fendi Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi, a third-generation member of the Italian fashion house, the industry won’t return to its pre-crisis normal. And that may not be a bad thing.
“There’s a huge question mark on everything,” she told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks on a special edition of the BoF Podcast. “It’s a beautiful opportunity to change things and look at things differently and to evolve in a positive way.”
As the industry grapples with an upended global economy and shifting consumer behaviour, Fendi predicts the future of fashion lies in smart clothing, from T-shirts that measure someone's blood pressure or gloves that calculate oxygen saturation. Now more than ever, technology is going to play a pivotal role in the buying and selling of merchandise, including digital showrooms and the use of virtual reality to showcase collections.
“[At Fendi] we always embrace change with excitement and we’ve always seen it as an opportunity. From change, we’ve always felt renewed,” she said.
While stores across the globe have closed their doors to curb the spread of the virus and government-imposed lockdown measures continue, Fendi has found that “inaction and inactivity can be very stimulating.” She is embracing this period of quiet reflection to reconsider the brand’s approach to design, focussing her attention on usability and practical, long-lasting garments, as well as rewoking pieces from the archive.
Fendi suggests that, in a post-Covid-19 climate, the fashion industry at large is going to have to address its consumption problem and consider the scaling down of fashion shows. “We have learnt a very big lesson out of this situation… that we are not going to forget,” she said. “To slow down the pace of fashion is going to be something very healthy… I think we’re going to see a big difference in the future.”
Tune into this episode of the BoF Podcast, where the duo discuss why the industry must pause and reset its priorities in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
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