On the third day of ModaLisboa’s Check Point was presented the study “New Trends in Fashion” by Hermano Rodrigues from consultant Augusto Mateus & Associados. Although this study extends over numerous ramifications, it focuses on the phenomenon of globalization, and its closer relationship with fashion.
When we talk about demand-side’ trends, the new cultural values pave the way for new consumption patterns: activewear, plus size fashion and genderless fashion, are three of the fastest growing segments, not forgetting sustainability - circular economy - and the transparency which consumers increasingly demand from the market.
Regarding supply-side’ trends, technology is at the forefront of companies' investments, as digitalization of their value chains increases, the alliance between information and artificial intelligence - great work by Farfetch and Amazon - the development of e-commerce, and the demand for customization in the fast-fashion sector.
The era of digitization is also a great opportunity for Portugal to embark on less recognized sectors such as retail, in order to strengthen its industry-supported ecosystem.
After the presentation of this study, the links between Fashion and Technology were discussed. Thanks to a panel consisting of different industry professionals, it was possible to have a look on where Fashion and technology can get together, not forgetting the Portuguese case.
Lisa Lang (The PowerHouse) and Alfredo Orobio (Awaytomars) recognize Portugal as the perfect country for the development of their projects: its great industrial heritage, direct and accessible contact with industry, government support, and openness to experimentation are some of the highlights. Amanda Parkes (Fashion Tech Lab) stresses that the national scene is favorable in terms of scale and opportunity, especially for small brands that want to experiment without compromising the quality of their business. This is happening thanks to industry increasing its openness to innovation.
For Bernardo Gaeiras (FabLab Lisboa), Lisbon continuously seeks to position itself as a facilitator for expressions of creativity. Venues such as FabLab Lisboa offer conditions such as workshops, workspaces and access to tools that foster the ideas of all creatives who want to participate in this environment.
When asked about the opportunities of the future of fashion, Lisa recognizes them everywhere: technological advances and the imminent arrival of the fourth Industrial Revolution offer young designers a path full of new possibilities, far from what has already been said and done. But to do so, one must master the system, live within it, and only then break it. Not forgetting that continuing education for everyone (consumers, industry and decision makers) is key.
Regarding the cost challenge for fashion technology, Amanda believes consumers are ready for tomorrow's offerings, even though the biggest challenge lies in deleting the fast-fashion and tshirts mindset at € 4,99: consumers continue to opt for low cost over product quality. Re-education reveals to be once again, essential. In this case with the need for the industry to meet midway with the consumer, where the price point goes down to meet demand, and the consumer is available to invest even more but also more consciously.
As a wrap-up of all ideas and perspectives it is clear that we still have a long way to walk, but the prospects for Portugal are very positive. Since the country offers industrial and intellectual capabilities to advance innovatively in the fashion sector – fostering economical and knowledge growth.