Since 16 March, many leather companies (from both the industrial and distribution sectors) are at a standstill because of the health measures in place in France. The upstream players in the industry*, and notably the leather and raw hide dealers represented by the Syndicat Général des Cuirs et Peaux, are still very active in the field and are continuing to collect hides. In direct contact with abattoirs, their commitment is essential for ensuring a constant food supply for the French people.
Because of the measures put in place to protect employees, the other industrial sectors of the leather industry are having to rethink their organisation in order to restart their activities. In particular, these companies must implement social distancing procedures, supply enough protective personal equipment such as masks and gloves, as well as hand sanitizer, and obtain the unanimous agreement of unions. These negotiations are underway.
At the time of writing, France has allocated all supplies of FFP2 masks (the most protective ones) to health professionals. Masks for companies are currently being manufactured and demand remains very high.
In these times of shortages, and in order to support companies in their efforts to provide PPE, the Conseil National du Cuir has decided to take charge of the supply of masks and hand sanitizer for the entire French Leather Industry. It has placed a first order for 200,000 masks (washable 10 times at 60°C) and 7,000 litres of hand sanitizer. A budget of 1.4 million euros has been approved to allow industrial companies to resume their activities and for retailers to be equipped when the crisis is over. If the needs of the industry require it, the CNC’s order can rise to 500,000 masks and double the quantity of hand sanitizer.
The Conseil National du Cuir is using two French suppliers, members of the leather sector: CHAMATEX (a textiles company) and ATC Tannery Chemicals (a chemical products company). The first orders are scheduled to be delivered at the end of April. As the finished goods distribution industry (footwear, leather goods, gloves) is at a complete standstill by government decision, industrial companies will be the first to benefit. The next step will be for each company to decide on a plan for resuming their activity and acquiring the necessary equipment.
Debenhams is preparing to call in administrators after the struggling department store was forced to close all its outlets under the coronavirus lockdown.
Debenhams was taken over last year by a group of its financial backers, including the US hedge funds Silver Point and GoldenTree, after falling into administration.
With 142 stores closed and the majority of the 22,000 staff on furlough, the current owners want to push the business into administration then buy it back debt-free.
Debenhams said: “This move will protect Debenhams from the threat of legal action that could have the effect of pushing the business into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed in line with the Government’s current advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Levi’s has launched a new program on its Instagram Live platform to support artists and musicians while encouraging watchers to stay at home. The program, titled 5:01 Live, is hosted on the channel every weekday at 5:01 PST.
On their recent post the brand said “Our Levi’s Family, it’s in times like these that many of us turn to music to feel a sense of community. Tune in tomorrow, March 23rd, for our first 5:01 Live. Levi’s is proud to bring you live performances from some of your favorite artists as we encourage you to stay home and stay connected. We’ll be live every weekday at 5:01pm PST. We are unified by music and all in this together.”
The board of directors of Pitti Immagine has decided yesterday to move the dates of their shows: “Considering the evolution of the health emergency in Italy and around the world and in the light of the concrete prospects of an extension to the restrictive measures concerning production and commercial activities and the movement of people, the Board of Directors discussed and deliberated the proposals presented by the CEO Raffaello Napoleone who, together with the heads of the various company departments, had carried out a broad survey of the opinions received from exhibitors, buyers, agents and other members of the trade over the past few weeks:
_ Pitti Immagine Uomo no. 98 is confirmed and will move to 2 to 4 September (3 days), once again at the Fortezza da Basso, Florence;
_ Pitti Immagine Bimbo no. 91 is confirmed and will move to 9-10 September (2 days), at the Fortezza da Basso, Florence;
_ Pitti Immagine Filati no. 87 is confirmed and its exact position on the calendar will be discussed at the fair’s next Technical Committee, scheduled for April, 8th;
_ Fragranze no. 18 is confirmed with the original dates, 11-13 September, at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence;
_ Super n. 16 is confirmed with the original dates, 24-27 September, at the Padiglione Visconti in Milan;
_ Taste no. 15, which was rescheduled for the beginning of June, is canceled and postponed until the next ordinary dates for 2021 (13-15 March).”
“With regard to our three fashion fairs” says Raffaello Napoleone, Ceo of Pitti Immagine “it is clear that they will be exceptional editions where our primary duties will be to guarantee the complete maintenance of hygiene of the exhibition space and prepare an organization of the spaces and layouts that takes into account people’s safety. An experimental layout which could also turn out to be useful on next occasions. This will also apply to Fragranze at the Stazione Leopolda which we believe, in this phase, could represent an indispensable point of reference for the entire artistic and experimental perfumery world”.
Napoleone also added that Pitti Connect, will be a new and advanced version of previous digital platform and will aim to network the buyer to brands through high-quality editorial contributions. This should not be seen as a complementary tool of the shows but as an integration into the physical fair. Pitti will be presenting this project to exhibitors and test it in the next few weeks and after that gradually introduce it.
This of course will set a shift in the trade show calendar for this SS21 season. However, it remains to be seen if Pitti will revert back to old dates for 2021 or whether the Covid-19 crisis will mark a shift in the overall trade show calendar.
The board of directors of the Fédération de la haute couture et de la Mode have cancelled Paris Men’s Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week with coronavirus which continues to halt international travel and plague France. Just today, the country’s prime minister warned of an extremely high surge in coronavirus cases.
Paris Men’s was originally scheduled to take place from June 23 to June 28, and Haute Couture was originally scheduled for July 5 to July 9. Designers are currently looking for alternative ways to showcase their collections.
A press release “In light of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic worldwide, strong decisions are required to ensure the safety and health of Houses, their employees and everyone working in our industry. Consequently, the Board of Directors of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has come to the decision that, in the present conditions, the Paris Fashion Week® Menswear, scheduled from June 23rd to June 28th, 2020, and the Haute Couture Week scheduled from July 5 to July 9, 2020, cannot take place”
Chanel joined the likes of Gucci in stopping production for the short-term amongst the global coronavirus outbreak. The company is closing factories in France, Switzerland, and Italy for the next two weeks.
“Chanel took the decision, in accordance with the latest government instructions, to close the entirety of its production sites in France, Italy and Switzerland [watchmaking] as well as its haute couture, ready-to-wear, métiers d’art and jewelry,” the company said in a statement.
Due to the increasing spread of the coronavirus and on the basis of the recommendation of the Bavarian State Government and the responsible health authorities, Messe München has cancelled OutDoor by ISPO 2020. This step was carried out in consultation with the industry association EOG (European Outdoor Group) and is responsible for the health of exhibitors and visitors. The next OutDoor by ISPO will take place in summer 2021.
Mark Held, President of the EOG: “The corona pandemic presents the outdoor industry with previously unknown challenges. We have decided that a cancellation of OutDoor by ISPO 2020 frees up valuable resources in the companies that they can use to support employees, retailers and other stakeholders along the supply chain. The more we do now to protect everyone involved, the better off we will be after this crisis. Once the crisis has been overcome, OutDoor by ISPO 2021 will provide an important platform for the entire industry and set standards for the economic comeback. ”
Our brand-new issue 62 of WeAr Magazine is now out! Featuring Trends, Brands, Designers, Lookbook, Retail Tips, Bestseller & Denim Specials, Fiber Report & more…
WeAr’s editorial team has attended the all-important shows this season and filtered out the best-of-the-best for you, in case you have been unable to travel.
Use our Lookbook to get seasonal inspiration. Look up these fantastic brands and dare to order directly from them. If your customers can buy online, so can you! Need an extra confidence boost?
We have compiled another one of our Bestseller Specials where we interviewed showrooms and retailers worldwide about what is hot and where things are going. Take this as a guide to your buying choices.
Our Denim Special will help you navigate through the tough times. We have asked the movers and shakers of the industry to give us their ideas on storytelling through, and around, denim – they know a thing or two about surviving turbulence.
And for the rest of your needs, check out our reports, where we always aim to write about things that can improve your business.
Get the latest issue of WeAr Magazine | https://www.wearglobalnetwork.com/bookstore/
Now more than ever, it is time to focus on how to use tools to digitalise your store. Here are three providers that can help your store to function better.
Online shopping is ridden with customer uncertainty about whether an item will fit. Fitom mitigates this by displaying garments worn by a variety of people. It encourages users who have access to a retailer’s garments to try them on, photograph themselves and post their picture on the app; every post brings them points that can be exchanged for discounts. Users who don’t have access to the physical store, on the other hand, can get an idea of how garments look on real people by looking at these photos. The application is launching with the famous Japanese retailer United Arrows as its first partner and plans to expand to other brands towards the end of 2019.
POS, merchandise management, accounting and an online shop all in a single app: that is Inventorum. The app, available in German and English, runs on iPad, allowing retailers to complete the selling process with the customer anywhere in the store – a physical cash register is only needed to give change. The system is browser-based, which means the accountancy features, including a daily closing balance and electronic cash ledger, can also be accessed on a PC. With a click, you can add new products, check your inventory, introduce discounts and view customer history. The app is especially useful for sole proprietors, who can save time and money by digitizing their business processes. Fees can be paid either monthly or annually, and a two-week trial is offered free of charge.
Sarafan recognizes fashion products in photos and videos and finds similar items in online stores. Here is how it works: the app enters into partnerships with influencers and media outlets, on the one hand, and online retailers on the other. Affiliate influencers receive a code script to embed into their website/feed, which enables Sarafan’s algorithms to scan their images and detect items analogous to those offered by its affiliate stores. The app then places a link next to the post, inviting the viewer to shop and redirecting them straight to the retailer. The influencer/media receives commission from every transaction, the app gets paid for every transfer, and the store gets new custom. At present, over 150 retailers are using Sarafan.
In the APP-DATE section of WeAr reviews the best apps and software platforms used by retailers and brands. Some of them are available to all stores and markets; others are exclusive to one retailer or territory but will hopefully inspire others and help them keep abreast of changes in the digital fashion landscape.
Covid-19 has prevented many events from happening, this does not mean, however, that an event cannot take place online.
Shanghai Fashion Week has showed this by taking its catwalk in the Cloud and WeAr reports. Shanghai Fashion Week (SFW) has teamed up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s online marketplace Tmall to broadcast the agenda of runway shows online from March 24th – 30th on Taobao Live, which is Alibaba’s live-streaming channel. This has been done in an effort to make SFW accessible to buyers, media and the general public through digital innovation in face of the (almost world-wide) coronavirus lock-down. Online viewers were also meant to be able to directly place orders and interact with the hosts. Tmall is according to reports the biggest marketplace for businesses that live stream, this includes small to big labels. There are 400 virtual shopping rooms which roughly achieve monthly sales of USD$57 million. On the face of it, this is a powerful partner to team up with the fashion cowd. That said, viewer numbers ranged from 12k (FFIXXED) to 5k (Cornerstone by Sun Yun). Of course this is a first, honorable, attempt to digitalise a Fashion Week completely so it remains to be seen what the real outcomes are, mainly financially.
When people watch the SFW brands’ AW20 presentations they can buy through Tmall’s app, however important to note is that you can only buy the SS20 stock, which of course is in line of how fashion works. Buyers, of course, could simply contact the brand in case of interest.
The bigger problem is that whilst on mainland China it mainly worked well in terms of technology, outside of it, there are issues: starting from guidelines which were ambiguous, time differences which will not allow to see a live stream, to log-in issues to language barriers as Tmall is mainly in Mandarin and even with Chrome’s built in translation of websites, it is a tough one to get through it.
Whilst the intro videos are high-end, the presentations themselves of course are of lower quality. This of course speaks to the individual end-consumer, but does it reflect the general theme of fashion? At WeAr we believe that we need to find a way to better connect with the end-consumer, however the appeal of the industry must not be forgotten. As only then you can sell a high-end (and – priced) item.
In terms of demographics, it was of course squewed towards millenials and Gen Z viewers. However, this reflects also that it is mainly an end-consumer event and leaves little room for professional buyers. Although the stretch is not far to include him/her.
But: Are Fashion Weeks not there to inform the industry and the industry carries it then to the end-consumer, at a time when the end-consumer can actively purchase? To create the mystic, glamour and exclusivity around fashion so to awaken a need, desire in the consumer and ultimately the much-needed demand?
Other trade shows are of course also trying to take it digital: KingPins Amsterdam, the famed show for the denim industry, which unites fabric producers, mills, chemical companies and innovators to designers and brands was meant to take place this April. Instead it decided to launch a 2-day digital event to host talks and bring the industry together. They seem to place a focus on trend talks. The need to do something new is important, with or without the virus, events need to find a formula to digitalise their events.
However, this too is a novel concept and it must remain to be seen if the industry accepts it. After all factories are closed at the moment, brands had to close their operations. Even online retailers like Yoox, Net-a-Porter have closed their UK warehouse and halted deliveries to stop the spread of the virus. Is there a need to prepare right now for a season still far in the future, or is there a bigger need to adapt the fashion schedule to please manufacturers, designers, retailers and ultimately also the end-consumer who does not go on a shopping spree right now, on- or offline. But nothing beats a try and in the end, only if one dares one will succeed. The users and their feedback as well as monetary results will show the success rate.
WeAr will be monitoring the situation and revert with updates on www.wearglobalnetwork.com. It also filled its March edition (issue 62) with useful tips and information for buyers and brands, which is available to purchase digitally and in print in the bookstore of www.wearglobalnetwork.com. If you have any views, ideas and comments, please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org