Fashion labels try to keep people busy in times of isolation
Dress-making workshops, yoga sessions, cookery recipes: fashion labels and retailers are turning into entertainers, some of them even crossing the boundaries of fashion and staging activities to keep the folks stuck at home busy, while the Covid-19 pandemic is raging. Besides providing a service and mutual assistance, this enables brands to keep their social media accounts active and to strengthen their connection with their (potential) customers, by forging it with something other than products.
Fashion labels and retailers are capitalising on their expertise, encouraging their followers to sharpen their fashion and dress-making skills. In France for example, eco-sustainable brand La Gentle Factory has posted a series of dress-making videos online, showing how to attach a button or sew a hem, and also made freely available the pattern for its most popular t-shirt model. Parisian label Make my Lemonade’s founder Lisa Gachet has instead posted a video tutorial on how to make a DIY protective face mask. Wool specialist Phildar is promoting its Phil'Académie, a website with over 300 freely available model patterns and dozens of knitting video tutorials, from the basic techniques to advanced skills.
Brands are turning chiefly to Instagram to broadcast their initiatives and daily or weekly activity schedules. French footwear brand Jonak is staging daily workshops its Instagram followers can take part in from home, featuring experts in a variety of fields, like live yoga sessions with Tatiana Avila or pastry recipes explained by Sarah Nakam. In a similar vein, Parisian label Sézane, with its daily Quartier Libre initiative, is selecting cookery recipes or recommending documentaries and podcasts, while ballet and athleisure specialist Repetto is holding live Fit'ballet classes every Saturday at 11 am on its Instagram account.
Again on Instagram, French womenswear brand Des Petits Hauts has launched a creative challenge called #despetitsmoments. The label chooses a theme (for example a home-made recipe or an outfit for staying indoors) and then selects its followers’ three best efforts, which are then shared in the community and rewarded with a gift brooch. Jewellery brand Lou Yetu is also keen to dispense advice on how to stay positive and busy, and features a daily competition to win an online gift certificate.
French budget fashion chain Gémo has launched the ‘Coup de Pouce’ (helping hand) initiative, posting suggestions for at-home games and activities on its social media accounts, while Spanish label Desigual is asking its aficionados to don their prettiest, most colourful outfits at home and share them via the #StayHomeStyle hashtag.
Others are relying on music to inspire relaxing pursuits. Des Petits Hauts has compiled a feel-good playlist on Spotify, while Scandinavian fashion retailer Monki created a 24 hour-long soundtrack for those keen to take on a dance marathon.
Although many labels and retailers are suffering huge sales shortfalls, there is no doubt that those currently able to foster a relationship other than commercial with consumers might turn out to be better equipped to bounce back after the crisis.
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