What COVID-19 does to the fashion industry, and vice versa

Yesterday I called a friend to share concerns, especially about work, and the current status of creatives in our society during COVID-19. She’s a stylist, scheduled shoots last week with Nike on Mondays and Tuesdays, TLC on Thursdays and also one on Friday. With the fear that now rules our country and the measures that go with it, they were canceled one by one.

The fashion industry is facing uncertain times, especially the emerging designers, independent magazines, and fashion graduates. Productions come to a standstill, events are canceled, help is requested in every corner of the world. Among all the news reports, one more negative than the other, major fashion brands and designers come forward and use their resources to fight the virus. From designer to activist. From panic to innovative solutions. This is what the fashion industry can still mean.

In times of panic and isolation, fashion suddenly seems irrelevant. The banality of the medium, which is essentially a way of protecting our bodies from the outside world, is currently committed to doing just that. For example, fashion designer Christian Siriano has put his team to work making mouth masks for New York hospitals. Brandon Maxwell’s team is researching the appropriate medical textiles to make clothing for hospital doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients. He also strives to make medical grade masks and gloves as more information about the production of these supplies becomes available.

Large fashion houses and companies are also helping out. Luxury group LVMH announced last week that it would deploy its perfume house to produce hand sanitizers to assist the French population. Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, on the other hand, follow Siriano’s example and have started producing mouth masks. Giorgio Armani donated 1.25 million euros earlier this month to Italian hospitals and institutions involved in the fight against the virus. Gucci also plans to donate 1.1 million euros to the Italian health care providers.