Fashion redefined

Fashion needs to understand opportunities of sustainability, digital marketplace and customer relationships. 

How do you go from Met Gala, New York Fashion Week, and hundreds of bustling stores to complete uncertainty? Fashion suffered a devastating blow due to the ongoing pandemic: McKinsey estimated that global profits fell around 93 percent in 2020. 

“We really need to rethink what this industry stands for.” 

Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue for No Filter with Naomi

“We are all in agreement that we need to show less, that we need to have more of an emphasis on sustainability and we need to have more emphasis on luxury and creativity and craft. We needed this terrible event to make us understand that it’s not about needing to change, we have to change, we are going to change.”

Wintour believes that the time came to really think about excessive consumption, and she is well aware of her own place in the equation.

“I obviously include myself in this, that we’ve all indulged in and we really need to rethink what this industry stands for.”


“We continue adapting to be more flexible, fast and efficient.” 

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group, for Textile Today 

“During the pandemic, it has become clear how important the interaction is between digital and physical channels to meet customers’ needs. When the majority of our stores were temporarily closed, we focused on redirecting product flow to our digital channels, which have remained open all the time in nearly all our online markets.”

Helmersson claims that customers shopping online are making it clear that they appreciate a convenient, inspiring experience that combines the physical and online experience. 

“It’s very much about the flexibility – where we do believe that digitalization is being accelerated and more customers will choose to meet us in those channels? What’s important when talking about online and physical stores is, of course, the integration between channels. To meet this future, we will continue adapting the organization and improve our ways of working to become more flexible, fast and efficient.” 


We need to shift. Everything is up for grabs right now.”

Stella McCartney, Fashion Designer, for The Cut  

“None of us saw this coming. I am driven by a belief system that will be better for all of us on Earth, if we can try to have better business models that slightly mirror what I’m trying to do with the Stella McCartney brand. It will help not only the planet but the creatures that we inhabit it with, and that is weirdly at the core of this whole frickin’ virus.”

Famously eco-conscious McCartney firmly believes that the fashion industry should be at the forefront of change. 

“I said before the covid-19 situation that we’ve relied far too long on a sourcing platform that’s hundreds of years old. We need to shift. That goes for everything — how you present a collection, how you price it, how you work with the people who make that collection visible, how you sell it. Everything is up for grabs right now.”


“2020 will bring back thoughts of ethics and values.” 

Nick Beighton, ASOS CEO, for Drapers Digital Festival

“We realised we had to be more digital – which might sound odd coming from a pureplay retailer, but we had to become more digital across all of our processes. We’ve had to become more connected to our customers and we’ve had to be more agile. We’ve cancelled or re-phased around half a billion pounds worth of going-out gear and brought in significantly more casualwear – we’ve had to totally pivot from one category to another.”

While ASOS mostly offers fast fashion, the CEO acknowledges that customers’ increasing interest in sustainability can’t be ignored. 

“There will be a turning point in the near future where customers shape their spending in line with sustainability principles. This will be a pivotal year in that journey: 2020 will bring back thoughts of ethics, values, what customers really need, who has made their garments and if those people have been treated properly.”


We are an industry of dreamers.”

Riccardo Tisci, Fashion Designer, for Vogue

“I believe there will always be a place for physical stores as a space for customers to come and to feel like they are in the heart of a brand; it is about establishing and nurturing an emotional connection.More than ever before, I think customers, especially the younger generation, want to buy into and believe in the identity of a brand.” 

Tisci view technology as a brilliant tool enabling the fashion brands to communicate with their communities.

“Fashion has a voice in our society, and a voice that I hope will be used to push boundaries together. We are an industry of dreamers and we have the tools and the responsibility to use our platforms to unite communities and action change. I truly believe in renaissance, and I believe that the time is coming for a rebirth in the world.”

Image credit Toa Heftiba @heftiba on Unsplash 

Latest news and articles by GetForward.

Be at the dawn of change

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects that shape our future.