In these challenging times for Scottish fashion and textile businesses, Textiles Scotland, as part of UKFT, is in touch with its international tradeshows and some of the key showrooms to identify which shows will take place, when and where. DIT tradeshow grants are confirmed for shows scheduled to take place in June and early July and we expect to receive the rest of the grant programme for the period running from July to March 2021 very shortly. If shows are postponed we shall ask DIT to carry these events over into the second half of the year and DIT have said that they will work with us on this flexibly.
A number of fashion weeks (i.e the catwalk or runway shows) scheduled in June and July have either announced, or are believed likely to announce, that they may either postpone or reschedule. This does not necessarily mean that the tradeshows and showrooms around them will do the same but we expect to begin to hear the early plans for tradeshows such as Pitti Uomo and the Paris menswear and pre-collections shows as early as mid-April. As soon as we have precise and accurate information, we shall let you know.
In the meantime, a number of showrooms have put details of their collections online for buyers to see, even if they cannot travel. These can be traced via www.modemonline.com which lists most of the key international showrooms, with a link to those which have a virtual showroom campaign. In addition, Playologie (an established platform for predominantly womenswear and childrenswear brands) has offered to extend its established online showroom platform free of charge to up to 300 brands for the foreseeable future at https://www.iloveplaytime.com/hello/playologie/special-announcement/ .
We realise that buyers are being extremely cautious as most stores are closed and many are carrying excessive stock at the moment but, looking to the future and the promise of better times to come, it is important to know which resources are available to help once things begin to go back to some form of normality. Based on the information we are receiving, some brands are still managing to make good sales to their B2C consumers online but many retailers have all but forgotten about collections for spring and early summer, especially anything which needs to be shown in a party environment! On the other hand, we are seeing reports of increased demand online for loungewear and athleisure categories which are very popular at the moment.
Textiles Scotland and UKFT will tell you about any other similar offers we become aware of to help you to build and rebuild your business. We are already working on a regeneration plan to submit to government to support the industry in time for when life begins to return, so that we can help the industry to anticipate and adapt to the new reality when it is here.