“The clothing crisis could well spread to other sectors of commerce”


Economist, co-founder of the Society & Consumption Observatory and professor at Paris Cité University, Philippe Moati analyzes the structural crisis of the traditional ready-to-wear model and the increasingly important place of the home for the French .

How do you decipher the dramatic situation in the ready-to-wear sector?

It is a sector that suffers from unfavorable structural dynamics. Responding to a saturated need, he lived on a drip with accelerated collections and promotional escalation. It is today a victim of consumer arbitrage in the face of inflation and awareness of its environmental impact. “Ultrafast fashion” and second-hand goods are creating new competition from below, while others are focusing on moving upmarket. It is the poorly differentiated, and now relatively expensive, mid-range that is suffering the most. This clothing crisis could well spread to other sectors of commerce. We are experiencing a change in the consumption model and the structuring of supply chains. We are moving from a top-down, product-centric logic to a bottom-up, customer-centric logic.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers When decoration comes to the aid of ready-to-wear in full questioning

What are the immediate results of this development?

In clothing, major brands have evolved from clothing to “personal equipment” by completing their range of accessories, jewelry, or cosmetics with a certain unity of style in which the targeted clientele is supposed to find themselves. who comes there to look for a look. Diversifying into the home world is first and foremost a way of taking a position in a buoyant market. We could go much further, for example by designing offers that offer to support the customer in satisfying their needs, without necessarily selling them the products. There are experiments in this direction, particularly in clothing, but which remain very embryonic for the moment.

In this configurationiWell, clothing would cease to be an element of identification…

That seems like a quick shortcut to me. The clothing you choose to wear is the image you give of yourself. This is all the more important in a society which grants everyone increasing space to build their identity. But the house has become essential. When we ask people about what matters most to them, there is no ambiguity: it is family, their closest friends, everyone they invite into their home… It is true that consumption has undoubtedly lost somewhat of its role in erting one’s social status. From now on, it is more of a vector for expressing its singularity. Hence the importance of decoration and layout of the home.

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