Technology has been evolving at an unprecedented rate, infiltrating every aspect of our lives and shifting the very manner in which modern society operates. Industries have been working tirelessly to adapt to the breakneck speed at which technology is reshaping business models, consumer behaviour and culture. Fashion is, first and foremost, a reflection of the times we live in, a visual representation of emerging themes and moods that are reverberating through society and as a result, the challenges and triumphs of the digital age are very much aligned with those of the fashion industry.
Traditional fashion business models have been disrupted to introduce new frameworks which cater to the consumer’s ever-evolving needs. The digital age has imposed a sense of urgency brought about by the instantaneous nature of technology. The two most notable technological developments that have impacted the fashion industry are social media and e-commerce, the impact of both have changed the very face of fashion.
Social media brought with it a game-changing new player, the influencer. The regular everyday girl became the ultimate celebrity, with the power to influencer millions across the globe. The elite world of fashion was opened up to the public, with fashion week shows being streamed directly on social platforms. There has been a palpable shift in power, with the consumer dictating the dialogue and this is why, more than ever before, consumer data has become the golden currency. Fashion has become an inclusive democracy.
It is this very focus on the ever-evolving consumer that forms the foundation of fashion’s future. The industry has done a remarkable job of shedding old habits and embracing a digitally-focused mindset. The shift has been turbulent, filled with trial and error but it seems we are now entering a new technologically-fronted realm of fashion. E-commerce is expanding exponentially, and brick-and-mortar is becoming increasingly experiential. Fashion brands are fully immersed in online conversations and are now responding to their customers’ needs in real time. Thanks to technology fashion is able to become even more attune to societal shifts and sentiment.
Despite its challenges, the fashion industry’s trajectory remains strong. Fashion will always remain an indispensable part of our culture and its outlook remains positive. Fashion in the digital age is poised to take on a more socially-responsible, ethical, engaging, experiential, diverse and inclusive stance and we couldn’t be more excited for what the future has to hold.