In early August, with coronavirus cases across the United States on an uptick, Moda Operandi was trying something new. The online luxury retailer’s unique take on the trunk show model, whereby clients pre-order clothes straight from the catwalk, helped set it apart from other retailers right from its outset. But with standard runway shows out of the question for public health concerns, it started a series of livestreaming events, Moda Live, in which designers took center stage along with their latest creations.
It’s almost startling to consider that a relatively young retailer which operates almost exclusively on the web––an area many luxury brands still haven’t fully embraced––has been pushed to experiment with digital like never before. Some of the technology is so new, many of its purveyors didn’t even exist a couple of years ago. But it further underscores a reality that the pandemic has brought into sharp relief: How we purchase things is changing—and how sellers evolve accordingly is happening faster than ever.
... According to a survey conducted by retail predictive analytics company First Insight, 54 percent of men polled said they would not feel safe in a dressing room. The same percentage said they wouldn’t feel comfortable interacting with sales associates. And even if customers do begin returning, some stores have started implementing specific policies, like one issued by Macy’s, that prevents them from trying on dress shirts and limits the number of people allowed inside at a time. A survey by Jefferies found that 50 percent of respondents said they planned to shop for clothes in-store after the pandemic—but will avoid dressing rooms. Collectively, this could give the notion of window shopping a new meaning. It could also change the way we try on and buy clothes forever.