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The Future of Fashion Marketing

Artwork by Gerda Friedel

Text by Glossy Gerda

Textilwirtschaft, one of the biggest publications for the fashion industry, asked the experts

End of April, the German fashion publication Textilwirtschaft asked communication experts from six German marketing agencies how the corona pandemic is going to influence the future of fashion marketing. In their statements, these representatives see important downturns for the entire industry while a new emphatic collectivism may create opportunities for local business, e-commerce, influencers and so-called purpose marketing.

Purpose marketing gives way to cultural issues

Companies taking a stand in sociological and political issues has become a trend that started in 2019 with movements like Fridays for Future and a call for more sustainability, and is now being catalyzed by the corona crisis, Uli Köhler, managing Director of Trendbüro said. Companies like LVMH, Nike or Under Armour have successfully applied so-called ‘purpose marketing’ by producing disinfectants or protective masks, stressing the importance of real actions as a way to build their brand on certain values – a trend which will outlive the corona crisis according to Thomas Knüwer of Kolle Rebbe.

Winners and losers

With this cultural change in mind, all experts agree that the present fashion market shakeout will redirect fashion marketing after the pandemic – and there will be winners and losers. Sabastian Kemmler from Kemmler Kemmler Marketing thinks that fashion fairs, print magazines, over-the-counter retail chains, middle-prized brands and shopping malls in less-attractive locations will be among the losers of the crisis. On the opposite side of the gamut could be big luxury fashion brands and low-prized fashion discounters next to highly digitalized local business with a sense for specialization and an on-site shopping experience.

New perspectives

The same applies to the future of fashion shows, which, according to Thomas Knüwer of Kolle Rebbe, will turn into “a shoppable online experience with an offline extension”. What used to be stereotype Instagram posts for global fashion brands or the nonchalance and narcissism of fashion influencers will be giving way to new role models with smart ideas and emotional intelligence competent enough to react on social moods. In that sense, Ulrich Köhler believes that influencers who are authentic and trustworthy will play a vital role after the crisis when a recession may spur understatement and “the presently budding minimalism will intensify”, Köhler said.

Besides this change in people’s perspective and a return to inner values, a second likewise optimistic trend will follow the corona crisis, as Kemmler stated in Textilwirtschaft: Euphoria will give way to people celebrating life, hedonism and consumerism. Coolness, latent aggression and ugliness as fashion concepts will be a thing of the past. “Having just survived a pandemic, people can easily do without a shocking esthetic fueled by fashion marketing”, Kemmler added.

For further reading ( in German):

Harvard University '22 MLA Journalism

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