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Fashion brands use virtual showrooms to reach out to buyers amid COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion brands have turned to virtual showrooms as means to effectively market their latest collections to buyers who are now unable to make in-person visits due to travel restrictions.

“Today, when everyone is locked in their homes, the only way to communicate and meet each other is through the Internet. Similar thing will happen in the next phase when people will be able to exit their houses but still social distance should be maintained; therefore, a lot of brands are creating virtual showrooms where buyers can have access to and choose from their collections,” Oleg Fazulyanov, CEO of Fashion Consulting Group Milan, has said.

Some companies have become more advanced in this platform, creating virtual reality experience in which buyers can enter store, look at the product and try it, he said.

“This is an interesting approach because it helps buyers since, obviously, they don’t have to take a flight and make appointments.  This is the solution for in this situation because it’s safe and people can also save time,” he added.


Fazulyanov was speaking at an online coaching session on Thursday evening which was hosted by Qatari fashion designer Fahad Al Obaidly and was part of a series organised by M7, a creative startups hub dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship established by Qatar Museums for the nation’s growing fashion and design industry.

“I think the virtual showroom is a great idea which I hope will stay even after the coronavirus as I think social behaviour will be affected for a while. This situation has made us think of creative ways on how we can connect to buyers,” said Al Obaidly.

Online platforms that connect buyers to showrooms have already been in existence for several years, and it is becoming more popular now because of the pandemic. More and more brands now allow placing orders online, said Fazulyanov.

Having online platforms are also environment-friendly as it might prevent overproduction. He cited one company who makes clothing out of sustainable materials, receives pre-orders online and produces the exact quantity that they sell.

Asked on the chances of Qatari designers to go international, he said that there is interest in designs from Qatar and the region as buyers are always looking for new ideas.

He also gave some advice on how emerging designers can market their collections and survive amid this challenging global crisis.

The biweekly online coaching sessions are aimed to guide and encourage aspiring designers. They are held every Thursday and Saturday on the M7 Instagram account, @M7.qatar.

Tonight at 6pm, Tariel Bisharian, CEO of Emerging Talent Milan Showroom, will break down the process of planning a showroom during Milan Fashion Week.

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