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Fast fashion is entering a new era

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the current state of the fashion industry, including the challenges faced by big luxury players, the rise of e-commerce and ultrafast fashion players like Shein, and the impact of these trends on the industry. It also covers the recent Paris Fashion Week couture shows, Pharrell Williams' first year as the creative director of Louis Vuitton, and the issues of waste and sustainability in the fast fashion industry. The article highlights three key things to watch in the fashion industry this year: the impact of artificial intelligence, the rise of the Indian fashion market, and fashion's role in addressing the climate crisis.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Recapping 2024's couture shows at Paris Fashion Week

1. What are the key characteristics of the couture shows at Paris Fashion Week?

  • Couture shows sit at the top of the fashion pyramid, with strict rules about how the clothes are made, who makes them, and where they are made
  • The clothes are made specifically for individual clients, who attend the shows and select what they want to buy
  • The scale of the couture business is not huge, with only about 200 women in the world who can afford to buy haute couture
  • However, there are meaningful, sizable brands that focus on haute couture, which is considered the "dream factory" for the fashion industry

2. What were the key takeaways from the recent couture shows in Paris?

  • Designers like Tom Brown and Daniel Roseberry (of Schiaparelli) presented shows that were highly creative and experiential, seemingly unperturbed by the challenges facing the industry
  • Meanwhile, the big luxury brands like Dior and Chanel have been experiencing slowing sales in recent seasons, and Chanel even had its show without a creative director, which is highly unusual

[02] Reflecting on Pharrell's first year at Louis Vuitton

1. How has Pharrell Williams been doing in his role as the creative director of Louis Vuitton?

  • LVMH and Louis Vuitton were looking for a "cultural curator and communicator" to take over the role, rather than a traditional fashion designer
  • Pharrell had the difficult task of stepping into the shoes of Virgil Abloh, who had successfully made the brand more accessible and connected to culture
  • After a year, Pharrell seems to have done a good job of picking up where Virgil left off, with his redesign of the iconic Speedy bag reportedly selling very well
  • This suggests that LVMH and Louis Vuitton are increasingly thinking of themselves as cultural brands, rather than just fashion brands

[03] A new era in fast fashion

1. What are the key issues facing the fast fashion industry, particularly in relation to competitors like Shein and Temu?

  • The biggest issue is the problem of waste, as the industry produces a lot of clothing that is never bought or worn
  • Shein and Temu have a more responsive manufacturing model, producing in smaller runs and testing customer demand before investing in more production
  • This helps reduce waste, but there are concerns about the materials used and the conditions of the supply chain, as these companies are not very transparent
  • Zara is responding by moving more upmarket and trying to reduce waste, while H&M has historically focused on sustainability but has lost its creative edge

[04] Three things to watch in the fashion industry this year

1. What are the three key things to watch in the fashion industry this year?

  • The impact of artificial intelligence on both the creative and business sides of the fashion industry
  • The rise of the Indian fashion market, which is expected to become the third largest economy in the world over the next decade
  • Fashion's role in addressing the climate crisis, as it is one of the most damaging industries in terms of emissions and waste, and reducing waste will be crucial for cutting costs and delivering more efficiently to customers
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