COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt in 2020. The fear of the virus, the inefficiencies of concerned authorities, and the regrettable quick-to-panic attitude of people painted our world in rather murky colors. The pandemic’s impact on the various occupations of the world is clear as day. Even the fashion world, and particularly the fashion weeks, have also taken a hit. For fashion influencer and entrepreneur Andrea Tankovitz, the following are some of the most significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on international fashion weeks.
“The life of high fashion thrives mostly in its ability to ensnare the senses. Its uncommon beauty, unimaginable artistic flair, and stories that are mammoth in their splendor depend on the availability of all the human senses to flourish,” explains Andrea Tankovitz. The pandemic, however, brought in a new memo.
Labeled phygital by Ermenegildo Zegna of the Italian fashion house Zegna, the COVID-19 hustle of our time has been a mix of physical space and digital technology. “Many top international events like the British Fashion Council, Shanghai, and Moscow Fashion Weeks were forced to stream their shows online without a live audience. The response has been mixed,” says Andrea Tankovitz.
For Andrea, shifting physical events to the online mode may be the need of the hour, but “hopefully not the reality of our generation since live shows are all about catering the senses. Their online avatar isn’t something that can take over the imagination in the same way a real runway event does.”
Economically speaking, these shifts and changes have also wrecked the large treasuries of huge fashion houses. These events, as per Andrea Tankovitz, have always been “huge crowd-pullers and garnered much media attention. All this adds to the coffers of large fashion houses, but those coffers too have as if developed a leak.”
However, all is not that bleak. Esteemed fashion shows like the Paris and Milan Fashion Week are now gearing towards events made for live audiences, albeit not without fancy masks, social distancing, and sanitizers. But it is a re-start of sorts nonetheless.
The pandemic has touched every aspect of life. The fashion industry, being run by some of the sturdiest, hardy, and most forward-thinking folks in the world, will perhaps be looked up to by many in terms of how it negotiates the crisis while keeping its well-polished doors open to audiences and models. “It’ll indeed be a lesson to watch out for as the fashion world strategizes and prepares to keep this ship of glamour and aspiration afloat,” concludes Andrea Tankovitz.