In 2020, designer apparel and footwear was tremendously negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to massive lifestyle changes as a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures. Lifestyle restrictions meant that stores were closed, and consumers were unable to socialise, travel and work as they normally would have.
During the pandemic, most consumers who were confined to their homes for much of the year sought out comfortable and adaptable fashion items, such as cashmere loungewear, and Versace’s personalised bathrobes, slippers and activewear. However, there was a significant cohort of consumers who, once more acclimatised to the lifestyle disruptions of the pandemic, purchased luxury clothing and accessories (mostly online) to treat themselves as a form of comfort in anxious and uncertain times.
One reason for the resilience of luxury fashion is that there is a greater proportion of spending happening through digital channels, as new clients started buying luxury goods online for the first time during the pandemic when stores were closed for months. E-commerce sales of designer apparel and footwear grew strongly in 2020 and 2021, reaching more than a quarter of sales.
The lifestyle disruptions caused by the pandemic led many luxury consumers to pause and reflect on their values and life priorities, with many people concluding that they want to consume with consciousness to protect communities, workers and the environment and contribute to making the world a better place. For this reason, many consumers are rejecting the cycle of frequently buying cheaper new products and are instead trying to “buy less, but better”.
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Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-to-Wear)
This is the aggregation of designer apparel and designer footwear.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-to-Wear) research and analysis database.
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