While learning to communicate in new ways has, as Lowe says, been beneficial to her brand, it wasn't without its setbacks.
"The major set back we experienced was with our production and delivery of the upcoming Rockpool collection which was scheduled to launch in June/July," she explains. "Our production is based in India, where I am blessed enough to have a home which means I can oversee the whole production and delivery operations. However, in March, India went into an overnight lockdown which meant all production ceased.
"We had very little communication with our production team as all places of business had to immediately follow the lockdown guidelines. These guidelines were very strict, overnight the very vibrant, wild and chaotically fast-paced India came to a complete standstill. No civilian was allowed outside, no cars were allowed on the roads and police were stationed at every street corner. This meant all business operations ceased, not only our production but all freight and delivery had stopped in transit due to all modes of transport being banned."
The situation was uncertain, but Lowe used it as a means to "rest, reevaluate and reset."
"As a designer, I used this time to create and grow VALÉRE. I chose to see this time as a blessing, I believe we were given this gift of time so that we could evolve into something greater," she says of the experience. "That is exactly what VALÉRE did, evolve—the future is very bright for the brand."
"It has taught me that we all need to adapt and innovate as the fashion industry is evolving. COVID-19 has not stopped my incredible team from innovating," says Lowe. "My extremely talented and passionate team has used technology to create an exceptionally advanced virtual showroom of our Resort 20 collection. This innovation has strengthened our retail partner relationships by ensuring that connectivity remains a core focus and priority. I am so beyond proud of my team; they have truly shown to be incredible leaders in a time of adversity."
"I like to find the silver lining in every situation, so I truly believe this time has been a gift for growth and evolution," she continues. "I hope that the future of fashion will continue to move in a more conscious direction, meaning that businesses move forward in mindful ways which will positively impact the world for the better. I really do hope that the fashion industry has utilised this time to re-evaluate and grow."
And while Lowe doesn't know what the future holds for fashion, its allowed time to reconnect with what truly matters.
"I am also hopeful that this time has allowed true creatives to thrive, I hope that businesses within the fashion industry have reconnected with their core ethos and true brand identities. I hope to see originality and uniqueness in design and creation. I hope that consumers will become more conscious of the brands they invest in and that they educate themselves on the brand as a whole. I hope to see more consumer support for brands that are original in design while investing in higher quality products that are of worth.
"I know that the VALÉRE brand has been mindfully evolving and is starting to bloom into a beautiful new world—the future is very bright and beautiful."
marie claire is supporting #WeWearAustralian, helping to shine a light on the Australian fashion industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.