Is this a remote working revolution? 

In his novel “The Théorie de l’Information”, published in 2012, Aurélien Bellanger tells us how digital technology came into our lives – from the beginnings of the Minitel to the (unsuccessful) start of the internet in France. In the last part of his book, he shares his thoughts about the internet and indulges in a digression on the future that’s close to science fiction. His predictions in this section include the fast growth of the participative web and the arrival of cybernetics. But in no way does he anticipate the extent to which our professional relationships have become digitalised. 

The health crisis, which now affects our businesses, the fashion industry, and our professional lives, is forcing us to completely rethink how we’re organised: how can a team build a collection remotely; how to give buyers the right information at the right time; how can growth be pursued when stores are closed … ? 

From a technological viewpoint, the tools exist, but they are underused. Starting in April 2020, the Slack, Teams, Google Share, DAM, Monday and other similar platforms took off dramatically in just a few weeks. For remote working, the emergency will have let us accomplish what we would have imagined impossible. This accelerated digitalisation is surely one of the few positive aspects of the crisis! 

Though most employees demanded to work remotely during the first months of the pandemic, it seems that there are fewer and fewer who want that system now. People are social animals and, despite help from computers, they can quickly start to feel abandoned when alone in front of their screens. 

From a structural viewpoint, the crisis and telecommuting have forced our industry to take a daring leap into the future. We will remember this period as a time of change and upheaval driven by the digitalisation of our profession: virtual trade shows, co-designing solutions, digital showrooms, digital platforms for connecting brands and buyers, and more. We’re convinced that today’s fashion entrepreneurs are still the most likely to keep up with social evolution and turn those changes more quickly to their advantage, sparking a real remote working revolution! 

Mathias Déon – Communication Direction of Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin