Adriano Goldschmied, aka the “Godfather of Denim”, longtime designer and insider of the denim and jeans scene, recently explained the key aspects that will characterize the evolution of the jeans and fashion market.
What do you see in the future of the denim and fashion industry?
I think digital trade shows are the future. In the next months, when only a few insiders will be able to travel and move from one country to the other, they will be a perfect alternative to physical trade shows to stay in touch with insiders, meet companies and learn all novelties happening, while they will help cutting carbon emissions as business travels will slow down. Moreover, as everyone is trying to cut costs, companies will be happy to spend less when exhibiting a “regular” show costing about €40,000-€50,000 per season. Plus, thanks to always more innovative digital tools, insiders can easily present novelties to a wide audience by simply sitting at one’s desk or share details and infos with their teams by simply clicking a button.
Don’t you think we might miss important aspects such as meeting and speaking with people, seeing and touching collections live and totally depend upon digital devices?
Through this new generation of events you can provide much more data, including technical information and forward them to a company’s other departments. In the past, a designer simply went to shows, chose the fabrics he thought could work best for a collection most often without being able to refer much additional information to other team members or its marketing division. Now through digital trade shows you can provide videos, files including data and information about how a fabric is made. This is an advantage. Moreover when you create a digital marketplace that can last for longer than simply a few days, for instance, all year long. Therefore through such platforms you can call your collaborators and make meetings.
You still miss touching fabrics which, also thanks to artificial intelligence, will not necessarily be possible in the future. Though you may choose fabrics through digital platforms. For instance, I am a partner of Myr Srl, a digital solution company that is developing a series of tools including these platforms and after four-five days you can receive all the fabrics you have chosen.
For sure you miss personal relationship as we were used to, but we are now facing a truly remarkable change especially you can follow a new working method surely different from what we did in the past.
Not only fabric trade shows are becoming digital but also digital fashion shows or trade shows in a digital format as, for instance, Pitti Connect. What do you think about it?
It all depends how these digital events and showrooms are structured. For instance, thanks to these tools you can organize your own fashion show. In physical showrooms, instead, you can’t do it during the order season as showrooms are crowded with people. When you can manage a digital showroom, instead, you can show the garments you are most interested in and verify if the looks you were thinking of match together well. You can also offer many other services such as comparing different prices faster but–especially–you can go beyond the idea of time limits as you can always organize a digital showroom that is open 24/7. You can also go beyond fashion week fixed times and specific dates.
How can this be related to the jeans market?
This was something that especially in the jeanswear market was already used. Now it can become an easier-to-achieve practice. This way you can present a product or make your fashion show happen only when you have something new to say. Why making a 100-piece collection when clients buy five items only? This way you save costs enormously and have a much higher efficiency in visual and communication terms. Moreover, you can also visualize details better and get true advantage from a technical point of view.
It will be fundamental changing the working system, that is avoiding offering huge collections, making rather drops that are very focused on specific trends or ideas.
This is what also happened for my collaboration for Ace Gold Green [also read here]. This project is a provocation that means: You can do business launching one single product. That would not have been possible five years ago.
The idea was born from my intention to show that people today are guided by a much simpler mentality to buy what they need, products that last longer and are more sustainable. This collection offers a T-shirt model, but could also offer five T-shirts in the future. Obviously the time of huge pointless collections is gone as production and presentation costs for such kinds of collections have risen so high that no one can support them all. Therefore cutting of costs has become indispensable.
Our sector as all others will have to face some significant downsizing but especially big changes. And a solution could be digital showrooms as by using them you can avoid producing samples or limit their production to smaller quantities, cut costs and be faster. Thanks to special digital tools you can produce samples in about two weeks. In the past that lasted months and months. This also restructures the speed for reaching the market. This can change the nature of companies. For this reason–even if we cannot be totally aware–we are now facing some epoch changes that will give us great opportunities. Those who will be able to pick them will reach success, while others who won’t will disappear. One has to start following different business models.
What model inspired you creating Ace Gold Green?
I liked the idea to show the young that one can create an opportunity without much investment. What counts is starting from a valid idea, like an iconic inspiration product that remains despite the passing of time and any of us buys, but it has to last longer, be of higher quality and sustainable. That T-shirt is made without using any cotton as it’s made with hemp and Tencel as they are sustainable and traceable fibers.
In practical terms this is a very easy path for building a brand in baby steps by practically reinvesting what is gradually earned. For this the brand also carries the nickname of “Blossom of the Coronavirus.”
As part of the fashion business as it is structured now what solutions do you see for sourcing countries that suffered from the canceling of huge orders after Covid-19 spread out?
Unfortunately the poorest are the ones who pay the highest price. The new frontier of sustainability is the survival of the poorest. This is an aspect we can no longer ignore. I think that the only solution has to be managed at a social level. My ideal is what they did in New Zealand. They lowered the number of hours each person works in order to let anyone work. The spending power will be reduced but richness and living conditions will be better and more equally distributed.