Fashion and the future part one: How digital is changing the industry

At WGSN, we look forward and forecast what’s happening next, but we can’t ignore that this has been one of the biggest years for fashion, retail and digital.

So, for two special one-off blogs, running today and tomorrow, we asked our most senior Heads of Content to write a letter to fashion, commenting on the biggest changes that have taken place and what the future holds.

Up first is WGSN Global Chief Content Officer Carla Buzasi.

Dear Fashion

You took your merry old time, didn’t you? Dragging your 5-inch-high analogue heels into the digital era. But, halfway through the Twenty-Tens, it seems you’ve finally embraced digital.

From the drones you sent down the Fendi runway, to those fun VR sets that popped up in Tommy Hilfiger’s NYC flagship store, it certainly made me smile seeing high-end labels flirting with technology and actually having fun along the way.


Meanwhile, your high-street sweetheart Topshop – no stranger to digital-first strategies – led closer to home, making quick-click shopping even chicer with its BPay accessories.

Topshop Contactless Accesories.jpg_large

As someone who started her career just as the media world was waking up to digital, I have lived through the experience of magazines and newspapers responding to the demands of a customer who wanted everything faster, more personalised and, crucially, in the palm of her hand. It’s been fascinating to watch fashion taking its turn, and certainly not before time.

September’s fashion weeks marked a real turning point. Rather than comment on which brands were putting digital first, it was more a question of trying to scout out which weren’t. Burberry’s live streaming to Snapchat and Henry Holland teaming up with Visa Pay might have been the two that stole the limelight, but everyone experimented.


My real admiration, however, I keep for those homegrown, upstarts launching themselves via Instagram, Tumblr and the like, keeping the old-guard on their toes, and seducing clients with a digital spin on what fashion does best: making the ordinary beautiful.



For part two of our fashion reflection and forecast for the future, visit WGSN Insider tomorrow for exclusive content by WGSN Head of Catwalks, Lizzy Bowring.

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