Fashion’s Post-Covid Future, According To Renowned Trend Forecaster Lidewij Eldelkoort.
Lidewij Edelkoort, also known as Li is one of the most celebrated trend forecasters in fashion. She recently took to a webinar to discuss the future of fashion and in her opinion, what she believes will happen to the industry following the Coronavirus.
Edelkoort has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential fashion experts of our day and i-D magazine listed her among the world’s 40 most important designers. So when she talks, you should probably listen. Edelkoort has worked in fashion her whole life, in 1975, following the completion of her studies, she moved to Paris and set up an independent trend consultancy. She then created the ‘Trend Union’; a trend forecasting service and has since gone on to service the likes of Gucci, Estée Lauder and even Coca-Cola.
In her webinar she stated that Coronavirus could act as a “Blank page” for the fashion industry, believing that by the summer of 2022, we will be free of the Coronavirus. She coined the term from her recent inspiration regarding paper. Her webinar was full of examples of how paper is the basis of fashion and design, such as origami turning to pleated blinds or the structure of paper becoming wool. In this, she describes paper as a metaphor for the grounding of the fashion industry, returning to the most basic but elegant products that we love the most.
By 2022, Edelkoort says fashion will see a new start. She draws particular attention to mono brands; brands that make only one product. She believes that brands that can make one product and be able to perfect it will see the most success. In a time when brands continue to branch out to all corners of clothing, people would rather go to one brand for a specific product. Examples would be brands like Manure Gavriel or Ugg but even they have expanded their product range in the past few years. It’ll be interesting to note which brands are able to see success off of one core product going forward.
The mix of activewear with fashion will also be important for the Summer of 2022. This has already become popular due to the stay at home orders stemming from the Coronavirus, and Edelkoort expects this to become a full-blown trend once the world returns to how it was before. This can already be seen in luxury brands’ commitment to creating elegant loungewear, such as Gucci’s tracksuits or Louis Vuitton’s recent foray into exercise equipment with their monogrammed dumbbells. The future could see a casualisation of the office and an acceptance towards the more frequent wearing of activewear.
She uses the metaphor of the fashion system being like a skeleton, in that “the basic collection is like a spine, attached to the skeleton are little oomphs of pleasure.” The basic collection for brands will be what the customer expects and typically buys, and the little pieces of pleasure will be what customers desire in the future. They will want to be more fun and outgoing in the way they dress.
Edelkoort specifically mentioned one item destined for popularity in SS22, high waisted, wide-legged, raw white denim. Eldelkoort went on to state that raw denim will be “the basis of tomorrow”. Raw denim which is the traditional form of denim helps shape a pair of trousers to the wearer’s body with Edelkoort arguing that the silhouette that develops from consistent wear will have a positive impact on the rest of one’s outfit. She also adds that white, alongside beige, will become very important colours and much like her previous example of paper, are able to go in all kinds of directions.
If Lidewij Edelkoort is right (as she often is), there will be a big shift in the world of fashion and many brands will be expected to deliver.
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