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In-Person Fashion Shows Begin in Paris and Milan

A Fashion Week Like No Other

This Fashion Week, face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer are some of the most popular accessories. Over the next two weeks, luxury fashion brands including Louis Vuitton (LVMUY) and Dolce & Gabbana will host in-person fashion shows in Paris and Milan. Shows started on Monday in Paris and will begin today in Milan.

Organizing a fashion show during a pandemic is a difficult endeavor. Fashion houses are implementing temperature checks for models and guests, measuring air flow patterns in venues, and spacing attendees according to social distancing recommendations. Despite these complications, some brands feel that any type of in-person event will be more helpful for creating buzz than virtual events. Events were almost exclusively online during New York Fashion Week, and some brands were disappointed with fan engagement.

Difficulties for the Fashion Industry

The pandemic has battered the fashion industry. Luxury brands are dealing with unprecedented drops in sales as well as supply chain disruptions. These difficulties pushed some brands, like Brooks Brothers and Lord & Taylor, to file for bankruptcy.

In 2019, the global luxury fashion market was worth $334 billion. However, according to recent research from BCG, global luxury sales could drop by up to 45% this year. It is estimated that the industry will not see pre-pandemic levels of growth until 2023 or 2024.

Looking Ahead

Some analysts say that the fashion industry will never look the same as it once did after the pandemic subsides. Over the past year, ecommerce has become a much more important part of the industry. In 2019, only 12% of luxury sales happened through ecommerce. The in-store experience used to be an important part of luxury shopping, but now customers are much more concerned about safety and are turning to online platforms.

Amazon (AMZN) is working to carve out a space in the new world of fashion. Earlier this month the company launched a fashion marketplace called Luxury Stores. Farfetch, an online fashion retail platform, said it saw a 60% rise in traffic during its second quarter compared to a year earlier.

Leaders in the fashion world will be eager to see how the next two weeks of fashion shows in Paris and Milan unfold, and what that could mean for the future of the industry.

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