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2021: The year of breaking conventional barriers of fashion

Bolder and more multifaceted initiatives will be emerging this year when compared to the trends that ruled last year. This is not a calling to keep it underplayed and demure, or to keep it brutally snobbish either. The global pandemic has raised the bar of consciousness deeper within the human mind. From last year’s humble and conscious approach of bringing our old traditions back, the year 2021 will have clearer visions for the fashion and luxury industries which shall be lowering the volume of the glitter-&-glam train and shifting perceptions towards a more sensible approach. Some drastically brave forefronts are expected by the most relevant brands and companies that hold a larger scale in the market and dominate many groups in the high-end luxury and fashion trade. Those businesses in their developing phase should follow a very precise path with determination and clarity, sacrificing instant perks to gain long-lasting profits and growth. This will protect the leverage on their assets instead of ruining their revenue. The aftermath of the unpredictable year of 2020 is tragic with Covid-19 strains damaging consistency. Every brand now has to understand the sensitivity of the consumer’s mindset of choosing where to shop and how to spend.

The winds of change

With major luxury brands like Prada, Chanel, and Salvatore Ferragamo adopting the culture of green bonds, moving their funds to have survival strategies, and coming out openly to declare their contribution towards global warming related issues the planet is facing, the feeling inside the industrial patrons is growing multifaceted than expected. Asia is predicted to become the leading fashion market in the coming years; Europe and the USA are yet to completely recover from the political and health crises of the previous year. In such scenarios, the only way to maintain bold bulletin releases is to keep long lasting, earthy, yet organic and beneficial goals in mind.

Adapt and grow

The big brands have been making lavish efforts to keep their stature and brand awareness intact. Take for instance Gucci’s innumerable collaborations with brands like ‘Disney’, ‘The North Face’, the newly launched ‘Doraemon’, and many more; although, the latter does put the brand at risk of a “Pierrecardinisation”. Bottega Veneta initiated an “Enjoy the Silence” mode recently and shut down its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Surprisingly though, their Chinese counterparts Weibo and WeChat were kept active. This predicts the course such brands might lean towards in the future. In other developments, LVMH beat all the odds with the takeover of Tiffany & Co.; Victoria’s Secret shut down its major shops around the world. In the times ahead, many big fashion houses and corporations are gearing up for some bold moves and planning to recover from the current waves affecting the landscape of major brands with decades of historical surveys.

The organic shift in fashion and luxury

Pioneering a sustainable luxury fashion movement, Stella McCartney has revealed what she calls the “Most Sustainable Collection”, saying that luxury has a waste-problem; she’s shifting from the convention in high gear, spinning every last button, lace, and fabric scrap into new collections.

Indian fashion houses like Anita Dongre owned ‘GrassRoot’ is an initiative to empower and sustain craft communities in rural India, going back to the roots in the olden traditional way. Sabyasachi collaborated with Bergdorf Goodman for an exclusive collection of saris and bridal wear, ready-to-wear, shawls, scarves, accessories, and jewellery that resemble the olden traditional values and craftsmanship from Kutch – Gujarat, giving their artisans an international platform to contribute to the global momentum. Even Christian Louboutin has used the oldest Indian techniques in his latest collection of ‘Spring Summer 2021’, printing the effect of tie-&-dye – an ancient bandhani or Indian tie-&-dye that began 5000 years ago in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Many believe and attribute the ‘Khatri’ community of Kutch as one of the first to have used this form of colouring fabrics. Today, tie-&-dye techniques have been trending the hottest amongst new collections of many upcoming brands. Bollywood’s favourite power couple Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan, the brand ambassadors of the home decor and upholstery brand ‘D’Decor’, came up with their prêt line of home decor pieces under the name of ‘SanSar’ which has been created mainly by women, specifically utilising their craftsmanship and skills by making a difference in supporting the earthy and organic culture. Furthermore, Cartier unveiled its most recent campaign on the ‘Culture of Design’ and around the ‘Magnificent 7’ – the iconic creations of the French maison. The campaign focuses on maison’s best hits and evergreens: the Cartier Santos, Tank, Panthère and Ballon Bleu watches, Love and Juste Un Clou nail bracelets, and the Trinity ring only shows the royalty and richness of vintage.

Many courageous and traditional moves are expected by the most relevant brands in India and by the global industries of fashion and luxury in 2021. Changing times do require drastic, bold steps to be taken for the future and risking the evolution the industry is offering. This transition has definitely shaken and woken many experts to make their mindsets more adapting towards changing with the time and riding with the waves.

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