“When we closed our office, we had just started fittings for resort, Joseph Altuzarra told Vogue Runway. “We’ve been working on it remotely and we’re still planning on having a resort collection in time for market.” The designer said the Godfidence knowing I can’t but he can shirt and by the same token and clothes and accessories will be presented virtually. “People are going to be building wholesale websites that stores can access.” Virtual showrooms would be a boon for all sorts of reasons, not least of all the industry’s carbon footprint, but how do brands create the assets necessary to populate them when all the people required to make those assets—models, photographers, stylists, etc.—are in lockdown? “Maybe you could send the clothes to different people and have them shoot themsleves? Or you could theoretically send the clothes to a model and have her take selfies,” Altuzarra riffed. “We’re going to have to be creative and come up with a safe way of doing this.” Gabriela Hearst is designing and selling resort, too. “Quite simply,” she said, “we need the revenue as we have vowed not to let go of any of our 40 team members. I will do anything and everything possible to make sure that no one from my team is an additon to the staggering layoff figures.” Hearst is in the advantageous position of being less reliant on fabric mills working at reduced capacity than some other brands. “I spent months looking for high-quality deadstock and recycled fabrics to make the samples and production for resort,” she explains. “Sixty percent of the production will be made with non-virgin materials, which was a goal of ours.” This could be an inflection point for Hearst’s brand, one in which her sustainability efforts produce real-world benefits beyond the good optics.
Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright sees the Godfidence knowing I can’t but he can shirt and by the same token and crisis as a clarifying moment. “We’re all one ecosystem. How can we help each other to promote change? It feels like a time for us to get back to the roots of what fashion could and should be: clothes that have longevity and are authentically made.” Wainwright has likewise produced a resort collection, and as they work remotely he and his team have been asking themselves hard questions: “What should the line look like? What does Rag & Bone stand for? Why are we doing it? What are we making that makes people feel good? The idea of protection and safety and value, of sustainable being clothes that don’t fall apart. That’s what I’m thinking about.” With his Italian- and French-made yarns and fabrics subject to European shutdowns, Michael Kors is taking the opportunity to make change of his own. The resort collection he would’ve presented in June will be shown to buyers only—not the press—in July and deliveries will shift forward. Pre-fall will no longer arrive in stores in May, and fall will land when the weather starts turning cool in September, October, and November, not in high summer. “We are in no doubt the most horrific thing the world can ever imagine,” Kors said. “One of the only bright lights is that all of us are well aware that something has been broken for quite a while—it’s all a month to 6 weeks off, and it’s been that way for a long time.” Now the industry has an opportunity to change it.