“I think this period of gestation is important when you make decisions about who you are as a brand. It’s exciting to see who bounces back and how. This crisis, right here, and coming out of it, is a process that will ensure that a lot more thought is given to what goes into a garment” This is the time to think about storytelling and reimagining garments, keeping your eye on the ball, and coming out in solidarity, feels fashion designer Kunal Rawal

I think Indian fashion has made so much progress in the last few years, especially with menswear. The way menswear has been evolving in India is amazing. Buying trends were changing, the way people shopped was changing. However, like every other aspect in the world at present, this evolution is also on pause. Right now, we’re all shooting blind and waiting to see how long this continues. I want to keep a positive outlook for the future and believe that there will be a silver lining. The progress we’ve made with buying choices for Indian men will stay, but we cannot deny that buying trends affect everything. That being said, this time could actually bring out a lot more storytelling in designs and through collections because when we look at the bigger picture, we have the time to look inwards right now. That applies to fashion too.

Consumption is going to change, but it’s difficult to say how. This season is over, and by the time we’re able to get to the next season, everyone will put out their idea of the new normal. Strategies, when it comes to placing your brand or reaching out to the consumers of your brand, are going to be rethought. There will be more reason to cut through the fluff, and bring out the meat in your work. Every designer’s biggest strength is the product and what they can put out there. That’s what we’re all going to be focusing on.

There will be new plans of actions that will be created in the fashion world. If anything, this just shows us that the balance was tilted, you know? I believe creative fields are going to come together and help each other get out of this, including fashion designers. And for all you know, the ideation time that everyone has during this period will give birth to a lot of beautiful stories going ahead – garment wise. Talking about long term changes, this is going to be the new normal, in India as well as internationally. Going forward, every designer will be catering to the new normal, which will be heading into a new direction, considering travel taking a hit will change a lot of things and so will distribution. Hygiene and sanitisation will become a part of every thought process, and in fashion too, these aspects will play an important part in storytelling. I think we’re a part of the global picture and have clients everywhere. I strongly believe that other countries still have clothes that are regionally relevant only, but Indian clothes are relevant everywhere. On a micro level, we will have our plans to strengthen our presence in our own country, but even on a macro level, there will be synergy with global trends.

When it comes to looking at sustainability from a futuristic point of view, I think India will be standing in the sustainable wagon higher than where we were. The sustainable story is going to be about putting your money where your mouth is. I’m spending this time to see the big picture and thinking about whether I’m on the right track, and a lot of people in the industry are doing the same. I think this period of gestation is important when you make decisions about who you are as a brand. It’s exciting to see who bounces back and how. This crisis, right here, and coming out of it, is a process that will ensure that a lot more thought is given to what goes into a garment.

Marketing will go through major changes, especially when it comes to influencer marketing. Influencers are a great way to reach people, but I also think influencer marketing is all over the place, and the market is just extremely crowded. I think here too, there will be a cut through fluff, and the serious influencers will be the ones that will be sticking around. All in all, I think, as of now, the best way to boost the fashion industry is to go inwards. Go into thought processes with your teams, discuss with them, and then prepare for when you start, whenever we are able to. Solidarity is what we’ll all get out of this.