If you’re a fan of flappers or The Great Gatsby, you might find it hard to believe we’re now 100 years after the fact. Much like the post- WW1 economy, we currently find ourselves in a spookily similar situation – trying desperately hard to restart a life that was once considered ‘normal’, rising from the ashes of global devastation. If we’re to follow that way of thinking, we’d be set to hit the big-time once again with a post-pandemic boom that could work to provide for us all. But what are the chances of that actually being the case, and if so – will it work?
If we look back to the past of the Western world, many were recovering from both the effects of the war and the devastation of the Spanish Flu by 1919. By the start of a new decade, there was more consumer demand than many knew what to do with. From then began a ‘V shaped’ recovery back into prosperity, with people encouraged to buy goods made in their own country and gave an opportunity for products to be designed that were previously beyond the scope of imagination. Mass production became something of a norm and consumer spending was further aided through the introduction of hire purchase. Fashion was an industry that saw particular growth and development, with people eager to move away from the ‘make do and mend’ mentality, culminating in the distinctive 1920s style and trends that we still know and love today. From this point it was established that capitalism had the means to reinvent itself – a trait which can be utilised from brands and businesses today.
In terms of anticipating some form of post-pandemic boom, the evidence points to that being fairly likely. Many consumers are still in a position where they have excess income to burn and are possibly out of ideas and inspiration of how to spend it. The unique environment that we are currently in could allow for an extreme transformation or brainwave of the kind of product that could, in future years, be highly sought after – with a captive audience that are ready to spend. We’ve already seen a boom in sub-categories such as athleisure, but where could that boom head next? Early indicators suggest more formal items could be making a comeback, with consumers both missing the ability to express themselves, while also escaping the confines of comfy sweatpants for work or a night on the town. The opulence of the 1920s could be seen again, with people possible willing to spend more to make up for what has been lost throughout 2020. There could be a lot of room and willingness for experimentation, meaning the success stories of virtual tech and collaboration could continue to be used to create something we’ve not yet seen – and possible don’t yet know we need. This creativity combined with the increasing consumer consciousness makes for a foundation of widespread possibility that could lead to the boom of the new 20s we’ve been expecting.
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