Covid-19 has affected everyone, and the Fashion and Modeling Industry have changed. However, the sanitary crisis has brought people together to fight digitally against the virus, isolation, and the lack of hope that has been generated. Even though it is impossible to deny the dark side of the events during 2020, it is important to focus on the good things and the opportunities we had in this new paradigm.
Many companies and individuals have come together to raise funds, establish conversations and do digital events during the lockdown. This is the case for Maison Valentino. The creative director of the luxury brand, Pierpaolo Piccoli, created the AW2020 campaign #ValentinoEmpathy, which focused on human connection through empathy during social distancing. The campaign featured artists and friends of the house such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Anwar Hadid and Naomi Campbell and all the pictures were taken at home by a person with whom they were staying and sharing the experience of the lockdown. The result was a collection of portraits and a donation of 1 million euros to the Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital in Rome, which was the main Italian hospital fighting against COVID-19.
Like Valentino, many other luxury brands have donated money to support the construction of hospitals, help with shortage of medical supplies and research projects hoping to help fight against coronavirus.
All the same, it is a fact that the cultural sector has been essential -and still is- to entertain people. Even though almost everything during 2020 has been canceled, the industry found ways to reach people and engage with them. Many Fashion Weeks, such as Shanghai’s and Barcelona’s, were completely digital so people could watch the show from their homes. Mugler’s designer, Casey Cadwallader, decided to do it in a very different way. He created 3D avatars from real models to show the new SS2020 collection in a short film.
Another example of how the Fashion Weeks have adapted to the situation is Haute Couture Fashion Week 2021, which was fully digital. This opened new doors to designers, who can now present their collections in different formats where the spectator can participate. This is the case for Dior, who created a whole movie to present their new Haute Couture collection.
Also, castings in the modeling industry became online and brands, photographers, models and the rest of the personal involved continued working from home developing a new way of expression. Jacquemus, for example, did some online photoshoots with models and celebrities such as Úrsula Corberó and shared them through social media.
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On October, the luxury brand also launched a video campaign called “L’ANNÉE 97”, which included some references of the use of hygiene gel.
However, the trend that is increasing in popularity among fashion brands are video games, and digitalization has something to do with it. Taking into account that real life is baffling day by day, people rely more on fiction, and brands -even models- are joining the gaming universe. How? These are a few examples.
Gucci and The Sims
The luxury brand gave away virtual versions of its eco-friendly merchandise in the latest edition of “The Sims.” The brand connected directly with the artists, commissioning digital replicas of a multi-tiered treehouse, sneakers, backpacks, and other accessories from Gucci’s Off the Grid collection.
Balenciaga’s new video game: ‘Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow’
The creative director of the luxury brand, Demna Gvasalia, decided to show the new AW 2021 collection through its own video game inspired by 2031. You can play for free at their website, you just have to choose an avatar from the Lookbook, which will already be dressed with clothes from the brand, and the game will start from a Balenciaga store.
There you will be able to see other outfits, get inspired, see Gvasalia’s designs, and most of all, get in touch with the future experience of shopping. The video game, which has been developed by Epic Games, the company popular for creating games such as Fornite, has a lot of surprises, so we recommend you to check it out.
The pandemic changed us, the way we perceive things, and also the way we approach them so it has been necessary for the fashion industry to adapt their mechanisms and strategies to the new situation. Is the digital environment and specifically video games going to replace the physical experience in fashion? We will have to see, but with no doubt, it’s an original technique. What do you think?