Future of clothing during a pandemic

Will consumers step out to buy clothes post lockdown? Will masks become a part of our wardrobe? How are brands coping with these testing times? Fashion designers from the city have an answer to the questions
Future of clothing during a pandemic
Osman; Rehane Yavar Dhala; Ekta Nahar

Chennai

Coronavirus has kicked every business up its shin. Mass lay off, bankruptcy, and closed stores have become a piece of common news these days. The fashion industry is naturally not immune to the virus’ scorched earth tactics. As the pandemic appears to become the new normal, we ask city-based fashion designers about changes to expect in the sector. 
Ekta Nahar, who runs Studio 9696, a bespoke brand, says even if the lockdown eases or ends, it won’t make people start purchasing clothes. “Be the rich or poor, everybody is saving money as buying clothes, for now, is not a necessity. People will also expect a lot of transparency from brands. They would like to hear where their clothes were stitched, what were the conditions, and the breakdown cost of each stage of stitching,” says Ekta.
The fashion designer predicts that the marketing budgets may reduce for a while. “E-commerce is the future,” she states firmly as she opines that people will buy clothes online rather than step out and risk the chances of getting infected. 
Osman Abdul Razak, creative director at Gabbana. Life, a bespoke men’s fashion brand, shares his insights. “My method of business is very personal as it involves oneonone interaction with clients. There is an initial orientation process and later after the audit, we start speaking about the type of wear they are looking for,” explains Osman.
“Now things are going to change as people will be a bit hesitant to step out for shopping. So, we have plans like to visit their homes to take the fittings of their stitch,” he says.
Since lockdown, Osman has been focusing on increasing his brand’s digital presence. “Businesses will become more active online. They will adapt to technology more than ever. Instagram has been a great marketing tool for us,” remarks Osman.
On the type of clothing people will wear during these times, Rehane Yavar Dhala of Rehane, a bespoke brand, says, “Loungewear, sweat pants, and T-shirts will become popular as work from home has become common. Masks are going to be a part of urban wear for some time to come,” Rehane notices.

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