COVID-19

As New York Fashion Week begins, the clothing industry ponders its future

Marielle Segarra Feb 15, 2021
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A model walks the runway for Christopher John Rogers during New York Fashion Week in 2020. This year, the runways are mostly virtual. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows
COVID-19

As New York Fashion Week begins, the clothing industry ponders its future

Marielle Segarra Feb 15, 2021
Heard on:
A model walks the runway for Christopher John Rogers during New York Fashion Week in 2020. This year, the runways are mostly virtual. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows
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New York Fashion Week has begun, with mostly virtual shows. It’s been a very strange year for fashion. Sales of clothing and shoes are down, and the things people are buying are geared to comfort.

But that may change. The Biden administration has made deals with Pfizer and Moderna to acquire enough of their coronvirus vaccines by late July to immunize the entire U.S. population.

If things go according to plan, sometime this year life will start getting back to normal.

“The bars will be open, the restaurants will be open, people will be going to weddings with 150-plus people as opposed to small numbers,” said Michael Londrigan, associate professor at the fashion college LIM.

People will buy new clothes to wear to these events. And to their offices, if they still have offices.

The question is, what will they buy? Because, well, a lot of us have gotten used to this whole elastic-waistband, comfortable-shoes thing.

“We’ve been doing it now for close to a year,” Londrigan said. “So I think that there’s going to be a continuation of that.”

Maybe we’ll see dress codes at offices loosen up.  

“Comfort is here to stay,” said Bronwyn Cosgrave, host of the fashion podcast “A Different Tweed.” “But if you notice the way people are reacting when they get vaccinated, there is this tremendous sigh of relief.”

She thinks that’ll be expressed in clothing. Dresses. Bright colors. Whatever makes people feel like they’re celebrating.

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