The pandemic hit in early March. Fashion brands, who otherwise, were looking forward to a bright 2020, had to make big changes. Here are eight ways eight fashion brands pivoted.
Some say, it’s a pivot for good.
1. Make Hospital Gowns and Masks
When the state governments in India mandated wearing masks, fashion designer Payal Singhal, our featured speaker at LadyDrinks this Wednesday, started making them out of her signature floral prints. She raised awareness for the product by asking 50 influencers and movie stars to share photos of themselves wearing them.
“We started this mask campaign with the thought of coming together as a community to spread awareness about wearing a mask, and also thanking our loyal customers for staying home and staying safe,” said Singhal [Source: Scroll.in]
2. Donate Shoes and Hospital Gowns to Frontline Workers
Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds donated shoes to healthcare workers on the front line through its “buy one, give one” campaign. Burberry turned it Yorkshire factory (which usually manufactures trench coats) into a supply house for hospital gowns and masks for the NHS.
3. Make Donations to Hospitals
Mayhoola, the parent company behind Valentino and Balmain, donated an millions to help improve efficiency and security of the Intensive Care Treatment Unit of a hospital in Milan, one of the first cities to feel the impact of the pandemic.
PRADA donated two entire intensive care and resuscitation units each to three of Milan’s biggest hospitals, one of which is a children’s hospital.
4. Make Hand Sanitizer
LVMH, the parent company behind Dior, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, turned facilities that traditionally made make-up and hand sanitizer fragrance into production factories for hand sanitizer. They donated the product, free of charge, to French hospitals.
5. Make Care Packages For Frontline Workers
As a show of gratitude, luxury fashion house Ralph & Russo crafted care packages that went to essential healthcare workers at the Royal London Hospital.
6. Offer What the Consumer Wants
Samuel Ross, founder of the contemporary menswear label A-Cold-Wall, immediately got busy studying what consumers wanted.
Vogue Business reports Ross mined through 8 seasons of collections to see what consumers reposted. He looked at wholesale figures to see what was selling and Reddit threads to see what product categories and styles were getting mentions. He finally decided to sell three categories: technical outerwear, artisan jersey and minimalist footwear. He cut back his work week at his company to 4 days a week. It resulted in so many efficiencies that he is mulling keeping the schedule permanently.
When the crisis ends, folks will remember how brands behaved when things were bad. They will remember how brands made them feel. They will remember the brands that helped them.
And they will give that back.