I’ve been dwelling on a few reads about online vs. offline experiences.
Given our industry’s rapid/ever-changing pace, it is quite often said that the future of the industry is online. True fact, everybody is buying more and more from online shops, specially Millennials, with social media transforming radically the way we get to desire, look for and acquire our new garments. There are also many opportunities opening up thanks to the world wide web since it is enabling sharing, renting and even creating under new and unprecedented paradigms – like Chic by Choice and Awaytomars are doing.
But as soon as you think of it or discuss it there’s always someone pointing out the tactile character of fashion and clothes, the importance of trying on stuff and of course, the full experience of retail. So as I was doing my daily reading routine (btw I’ve now added Racked, Loose Threads and Quartz to my long term relationship with Fashion REDEF and The Business of Fashion), I came by this one which excited me particularly – it offered a great insight about how online business are migrating into offline without trouble and, more interestingly, with many advantages given their background.
It is of course of great pride that I mention the fact that Farfetch (founded by the Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves) is actually doing something pertinent on the other side, which is saving traditional boutiques by making their products available online, not to make them just online businesses but in order to build a global marketplace keeping physical stores open and profitable. I’ve also become quite excited with this post about the Secret Catalog which brings small brands/designers to your place in a printed catalogue just like the old days of La Redoute, as many other European girls in their 30’s (like me) might recall and relate.
All this pieces also made me reflect about my experience as a producer of Pop-Ups for our students at FA-ULisboa: I’ve produced two editions of this event, regarding it as a way of promoting the school and the students while having a professional approach to the challenges of the fashion design industry and a learning experience at the same time. But the importance of Pop-Ups goes way beyond schools and students/emerging designers, reinforced by Melissa Gonzalez’s (from the Lion’esque Group) talk at the American Fashion Podcast, it is important to underline that Pop-Ups are a growing and pertinent trend for many industries, specially fashion – they offer a brilliant opportunity for brands (fashion or not, new or established) to showcase products among new places and audiences, something specially thrilling for online businesses, either as a marketing/PR strategy either as a way to attract new costumers, recognition and profit of course.
I’d say fashion will always need the personal experience: hands-on, while fitting, touching, smelling and feeling the products, so I guess to sum up this insights I’d just go back to the 80’s and go along with it…
Is it getting PHYSICAL again?