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Adriano Goldschmied Predicts COVID-19 Will End Fast Fashion

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On Monday, the godfather of denim shared some post-COVID-19 predictions with a “live” audience.

Denimsandjeans founder Sandeep Agarwal interviewed Adriano Goldschmied, president and founder of House of Gold, LLC, on Instagram Live and discussed fashion’s future when the dust settles from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Goldschmied, this will likely result in more responsible consumption and a “buy now, wear now” approach to fashion.

But it won’t come without a learning curve.

“Working digitally is something we’re learning today,” said Goldschmied.

He explained that, as the industry has been forced to move to digital means, fashion can expect to see more innovation in online shopping. Even after the return to a “normal” landscape, Goldschmied predicts online business will continue to boom—at least in some countries.

While China—which saw the start of the virus in December 2019 and is now reporting a lower number of cases—is seeing consumers flock to the stores to make up for lost shopping time, he thinks other countries may respond differently. He predicted that American consumers especially will likely become more conscious of the quality and quantity of what they’re buying—and ultimately turn away from fast fashion.

“On one side, it’s making us happy because we’ve been pushing [responsible consumption] for years. But this fast change is going to affect the structure of business,” said Goldschmied, adding that this could cause the industry to change its model to create new garments only when it makes sense.

He wasn’t the first to note that COVID-19 could turn the industry onto the “buy now, wear now” mentality. In a webinar led by education hub Fashion Frameworks last week, experts throughout the industry recommended brands re-package their surplus and buck the tradition of creating a collection according to season. The benefits could be twofold: it could help off-set some of the consequences of COVID-19 in the short-term, and reshape fashion in the long-term.

And a creative solution is exactly what the industry needs. Goldschmied noted that many brands are hurting right now as a result of global restrictions and a suffering economy.

“We are going to be down at least 50 percent in our business,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to recover.”

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