By Jess Bond
Industries all over the world have been impacted in some way by COVID-19, one of them being the fashion industry. From fashion weeks being canceled to brands halting the production of their Spring/Summer collection, the fashion industry has taken a massive hit during these uncertain times.
Although the pandemic has impacted designers in unimaginable ways, many have risen to the occasion and taken the initiative to fight against COVID-19 in the best way they know-how.
Designers such as Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell, known for their fashion houses that create beautiful gowns that make women feel beautiful, have turned those same fashion houses into factories that are helping COVID-19 frontline workers. The shortage of healthcare supplies have taken a toll on healthcare workers who are out there on the frontline of this pandemic, Christian Siriano decided to change his creations from beautiful gowns to masks to lend a helping hand. Meanwhile, Brandon Maxwell, known for his expertise in tailoring, switched his fashion house creations from exquisitely tailored gowns to hospital gowns. Without being told, these designers took the initiative to spark a change in the fashion industry and paved the way for other designers and brands to follow suit.
Independent small brands have also lent a helping hand in the fight against COVID-19. Los Angeles Apparel, known for creating fashionable basics and being #sweatshopfree, switched their supply chain production from cozy sweatshirts and tees to surgical masks and gowns. Also, they have created masks for the public, where a percentage of the proceeds go to helping with the production of their factory’s surgical masks and gowns. Los Angeles Apparel prides itself on being ethical by paying their workers a living wage and not just treating them like employees but like human beings. This exact mission statement has been seen in how they have taken the initiative to help those in need without being asked.
The stigma around the fashion industry being “materialistic” or “shallow” has been debunked by designers and brands who have shown compassion for those who are on the frontlines of this pandemic. Although the industry has been negatively affected by the pandemic, fashion is here to stay.