March 4,2021

― Tumultuous times in the pursuit of timeless
04-Mar-21-1.jpg Nippon Express Italia’s warehouse in Verona, Italy handling global luxury brand merchandise
Some fashions never change, but the industry of fashion is always changing. And the past year of the pandemic has been one of tumultuous change for an industry which strives for the timeless.

Supply-chain disruptions, lockdowns, and collapsing international travel, which generate a surprising share of brand purchases, have savaged the global luxury market. Sales for 2020 are expected to shrink by some 22 per cent to EUR217bn, a return to 2014 levels, according to consultancy Bain and Altagamma.
High-end brands have been rushing to expand their ecommerce channels to sell directly and offer white-glove services online. With digital sales soaring this year, online is on track to account for some 30 per cent of global luxury item sales by 2025.
Geographic change continues apace too. The centre of gravity for luxury demand is further shifting to Asia – which purchased about 40% of all bling in 2019 and provided the earliest signs of recovery last year. Memorable images of Asian shoppers in boutiques “revenge-spending” after lockdown underlined how resilient demand is in the region.
Equally significant, the coronavirus crisis is further disrupting an already fragmented fashion calendar. Venerable fashion houses have broken away from the traditional bi-annual schedule, embracing “seasonless” collections and offering shows, including on virtual catwalks, throughout the year.
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