When asked to describe the state of the fashion industry in 2021, executives came back to three words: uncertain, challenging and disruptive. Though the journey is shaping up to be untraditional, these three words represent change. Generation Z has already proven that they will not stand for many of the elitist, exclusionary practices that were characteristic of fashion in the early 21st century, demanding expanded and authentic commitment to sustainability, diversity and overall integrity. While those expectations have been growing, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a set of problems that no one could have prepared for and in turn served as a catalyst for many necessary shifts that the industry likely should have welcomed years ago. For someone who wants to build a career in fashion, I don’t think there has been a more exciting or pivotal time to participate in what will hopefully prove to be the start of a new era.
In this 2020s Vision series, I plan to look at some of the major forces set to define the next decade of fashion, as well as the people and brands emerging as pioneers. While in many ways it feels like we’re in the eye of the storm, join me in exploring essential trends and the questions that have yet to be answered when we think about the fashion industry.