The world has entered a period of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many wondering what the future may bring. In an attempt to lighten the mood during these uneasy times, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour launched Vogue Global Conversations last week, a Zoom conference series in which the public asked the fashion industry’s most famous figures hard-hitting questions about what comes next.
All week, Vogue editors from around the world interviewed designers, CEOs and fashion insiders about what this crisis is doing to the fashion industry, and where the industry is meant to move on from here.
Fashion is often criticized for being elitist. Wintour’s hope was that these interactive panel discussions would open up the conversation to find out what the public thinks.
The current pandemic has created profound challenges for the fashion industry, leaving many with the same questions: What does the future hold? How will the industry recover? And most importantly, how can we change it for the better moving forward?
The panel discussions were meant to grapple with these big questions about the future of creativity, runway shows, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. The conversations were moderated by Vogue editors from around the globe, including Edward Enninful of British Vogue, Eugenia de la Terriente of Vogue España and Angelica Cheung of Vogue China.
Special guests included major designers and retail executives like Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Cédric Charbit of Balenciaga and Pete Nordstrom.
Here are some of the most popular discussions:
- Marc Jacobs on the future of creativity
- Virgil Abloh, CEO of Off-White and Artistic Airector of Louis Vuitton menswear, on opportunity and collaboration
- Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Creative Director at Chloé, on the frequency of fashion shows
- Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director of Balmain, on reimagining the digital fashion show
Many panels focused on the need to reimagine more sustainable ways for the industry to move forward, emphasizing the great need for creative ideas to figure out how to do so. We are entering an era in which sustainability will hold a much more profound relevance, meaning the industry will need to adapt to it.
“I have been so inspired by what I’ve heard, and energized by the ideas of necessary, radical change that our speakers have talked so passionately about,” Wintour remarked in her closing statements of the four-day presentation. “Especially knowing we all want to rebuild this industry that we love so much and leave behind the old habits that are out of date, or indeed, unsustainable.”
Wintour emphasizes that the fashion industry is all about community, as it employs millions up and down the economic scale. There is a growing need to talk frankly and openly about what fashion is going through, and a great deal of imagination is needed to figure out what comes next.
“When we come back from this crisis — which we will — we should come back with a purpose: stronger and more thoughtful and more sustainable in what we do,” Wintour says.