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Has Covid halted fashion?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

I’ve heard the words ‘2020 is a write-off’ so many times, but in what areas? During the pandemic I have seen some areas thrive whilst some diminished.

I have focussed on my goals - but given my goal to pursue modelling, what are the implications on the visions that I have set for myself? Although I refuse to submit, I can’t ignore the fact that countless quantities of food (and don’t forget loo roll) got swiped off the shelves in the mad pre-lockdown rush, but was it the same for clothes?

Has the pandemic brought the fashion industry to a halt? How have the fashion models been affected by it? What does it mean for my future as a model?

Cinema sign - the world is temporarily closed
Photo credit: @edwinhooper from Unsplash

So what's the deal?

Realistically, what is the point in buying new clothes to sit at home in? Am I going to wear that really cute outfit to go and do my grocery shop? Fashion hasn’t been at the top of everyone’s list of priorities over the past few months - understandably. Subsequently, neither has model portfolio building - mine has been on freeze for a few months.

I did find it funny when I went to Turtle Bay the other day (a supposedly Caribbean themed restaurant for those who don’t know) and damn near every female in the place was peacocking. And I mean really going for it. We were seated in what I call the ‘passthrough’ - in this case the ‘runway’ towards the bathroom where we got front row seats to the girlies pulling down their ‘pelmets’ en-route to go take a bag of selfies in the bathroom. These chicks couldn’t wait to go somewhere, anywhere to wear their little all-out raving dresses.

We found it funny at the time but thinking about it, can you blame them? They wanted to get their money’s worth out of their outfits. Is this what the fashion industry will be subject to?

A mask hanging on a wooden hanger
Photo credit: @arnosenoner from Unsplash

How has it been for the traditional models out there?

Given freelancers always appear to be at the bottom of the barrel when financial support is on the cards, as covered by the NY times, models have encountered unpredictable working conditions for as long as one can remember, and given their lack of ‘employee’ status they miss out on the benefits that are offered by being on a payroll.

So can you imagine how vulnerable their finances must be now?

Advertising budgets are getting cut, big brands pulled out on their orders, photoshoots went on hold, fashion weeks and other runway experiences got cancelled. It’s no surprise that many models have had to seek alternative career options, especially given that it’s not typically a high paying profession for all.

Not today Covid 19
Photo credit: cottonbro from Pexels

It’s not all gloom and doom

Given the current climate, it’s understandable that any model would feel deflated. But given all of the online platforms and remote abilities, many have been grasping the opportunity to continue - albeit within a debatably smaller arena but with exposure to many more eyes than before.

As I cited in a previous blog post, Instagram has given us a platform to shape the modelling industry. Stephan Rabimov points out that the platform enables us to choose who we want to celebrate, and who we want to inspire us (his article is referenced below).

Has this been the case during the unprecedented times that have been spurred on by the current pandemic?

I have noticed a spike in social media activity, especially in the arena of live artist clashes.

I’ve had countless reps approaching me to become an ambassador for their up and coming brand.

A cup of coffee on a table with some books
Photo credit: from Pexels

Stephan Rabimov must have been reading my mind when he covered a handful of fashion models, and how they’re spending their time whilst people are working from home.

It was refreshing to read that some are using the time to re-calibrate. Time was spent bonding with loved ones, facetiming their loved ones, resting, exercising, learning, self-pampering, finishing incomplete projects, reading books that have been deferred for way too long, goal setting and appreciating the positive emotions on social media that you don’t see on the news.

One that really captivated me: “dancing until I feel like I pulled something and dropping to my knees to give thanks every time I think of how blessed I am” (Precious Lee).

So what's the verdict?

With that being said, it’s not a bad thing that fashion models are using the time to enrich themselves. Anyone who knows me will also know that I see this as a platinum lining (silver’s so pre-covid). If fashion models can use the time to enrich, anyone can (in my opinion).

My modelling goals aren’t on hold - photoshoots were for a time but trust me when I say that everything need not come to a grinding halt (sit tight and watch my model portfolio grow).

Some feel that the situation may not improve, especially as it is unlikely that 40 people will be allowed in a studio at once. On the flip side, some sets have been staggering their staff - makeup on set, hair off set.

World Vs Corona 1:0 #wewillwin
Photo credit: @alaschgari on Unsplash

There is also the hope that smaller emerging designers may now have a louder voice when decisions are being made about the industry. Coronavirus has pushed everything online into areas where more people are given the opportunity to say more.

And with experts speculating that Covid-19 may set the fashion industry back 10 years, is that really a bad thing? Why not let the unheard ones rewrite the narrative?

Either way, the most important thing we can do is to remember how blessed we are (a la Precious Lee) x

Random-ish link

Find out about the latest updates pertaining to the impact of Covid-19/Coronavirus on fashion industry via this post's not so random yet random link.

Keep up with my selfie shenanigans on my modelling profile on Insta: @althie_model

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About the author [that would be me]:

I am a Senior Project Manager by day; by night (aka any other time), you can find me lifting heavy metal things (aka powerlifting), threatening to dust off my belt in the name of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (I will make myself re-worthy of my blue belt), or finding ways to get in front of a camera and labelling it as modelling in some way shape or form.

I put this blog together as an add-on to my modelling portfolio, and it reminded me of how much I love to write. I will continue to write as my model portfolio grows, just so that you can get to know the real me x



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