Are Style Content or Fashion Trends Topics Acceptable During COVID-19?
The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented both in the nature of the disease and the impact it’s made on the world at large. In light of this, do personal style or trend topics have a place in a ‘pandemic world’? Continue Reading…
What are the Bare Necessities of Pandemic Lockdown Life?
I was inspired to write this article when after my last SS 20 trends post, I received a comment that read,
“Many European countries are allowed only out one hour a day. All shops closed and due to lack of income people won’t be able to afford clothes. Food on the table first.”
This raises an interesting conversation. I will imply from what the reader said that she believes that fashion commentary about current trends have no place in the COVID-19 world we are living in. Reason being, fashion/style is not a necessity.
I do believe that this pandemic era brings with it the need for survival. Unemployment is high and for those who still have gainful employment – job uncertainty hangs above their heads like gloomy clouds. Apart from money issues, statistics show there is an increased need to buy long-lasting staple foods. Then there’s the desire to invest in practices that foster good mental and spiritual health…and it goes on and on.
So yes, style and fashion can’t compare to these needs – they are more important.
Does Pandemic + Financial Uncertainty + Global Fashion Sales Drop = No Fashion Content?
Let’s not forget that fashion isn’t a frivolous need – it’s a trillion-dollar business. Let’s get into some numbers shall we?
In 2019 Common Objective reported that “the value of the total fashion retail market, including footwear but excluding jewellery, is $1.78 trillion.” The report also stated “fashion spending is not equitably distributed. China continues to dominate as the world’s largest individual apparel & footwear market ($380bn), followed by the USA ($370bn).”
As consumers, we see the fun end of the fashion cycle – a fabulous tiered dress or an embellished shoe but it takes several sectors to push out 1 product: for e.g. the designer (and his/her team of merrymen/women), buyers, store managers, deliverymen, warehouse managers, influencers, fashion editors and much more.
All have been affected by the pandemic and this affects the food they put on their table. In March, BBC News reported that clothing sales had dropped by 34% ” as much of the world’s population is currently unable to travel abroad or even socialise amid lockdown restrictions.”
Next’s (High street store) chief executive Simon Wolfson explained “no-one wants to buy clothes to sit at home in.”
As can be expected, many fashion online retailers have suffered a drop in sales. Many stores had to shut down online operations to protect their staff.
The Fashion Beat Goes On…
But does this mean that every mortal on the planet has stopped fashion shopping online or physically going into stores? May has brought about some fashion stores reopening in certain European cities. Berlin for one, and as I recently saw last week Saturday – there are people shopping in fashion stores. Are the numbers as high as they were pre-pandemic? No. But were there women still buying? Hell, yes.
Last week, a fashion store in Lagos was doing a sale. I saw a jumpsuit I wanted to get my mitts on. Honey Booboo, whilst I was DM’ing the store manager, they all sold out.
On my Instagram Feed, I keep being bombarded with various fashion e-tail sales, what’s more amidst the uncertain financial climate – I’m still getting regular newsletters from luxury e-tailers urging me to buy, Buy, BUY!!
And what about fashion influencers on Instagram – what are they doing? I use Instagram as my barometer to test the fashion content climate. And going from that, I see a range of content being pushed out by fashion influences which include,
- Posts with said influencer wearing different stylish garments with a tag to the retailer
- Posts about loungewear
- Posts about how to make a stylish mask
- Posts that feature looks the influencer wore in happier times pre-corona
What’s interesting to see is the posts featuring influencers promoting looks that are luxurious AF, are still getting hella likes and encouraging comments.
What Does this Suggest?
That despite the coronavirus pandemic resulting in:
- Financial uncertainty
- Lack of freedom of movement
- A significant drop in social outing options
There are still a demographic of people who still enjoy looking, reading, and engaging on the topic of style!
And what’s more, a portion of those readers are still buying clothes, footwear, and accessories.
I can’t give you an estimate number of what that demographic consists of but the bottom line is they exist.
Given that during the coronavirus pandemic, there are a percentage of people who are either using personal style/fashion content as a means of entertainment or escapism – then there should still be style/fashion content that panders to their needs.
And to end this post, here’s a lil’ somn’ I cooked up to entertain myself during the lockdown:
What do you guys think? Do you think fashion content should be pushed out in a coronavirus world?
Drop your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to know your opinion.
Photographer – P.Santos