The coronavirus crisis has tangled about every part of our daily life. Tens of millions of people are out of work, and a deepening recession has forced many people to rethink their spending. Retailers — already saddled with a glut of unsold merchandise — are scrambling to get a handle on these new habits and what is projected to be a long-term shift in the types of clothing, shoes and accessories people will be willing to buy.
“The longer we stay in this pandemic, the more our relationship with fashion will evolve”, said, a fashion psychologist and branding consultant.
Almost as soon as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Brooks Brothers announced that they would be repurposing parts of their factories to make masks and hospital gowns, the memes and comments started flying.
Here are four Covid-19 protective gears that in the fashion industries already taking hold:
1. FACE MASK
We all know that wearing a face mask is perhaps the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and face masks have become a necessity during the outbreak. Now the fashion world is ensuring that they become trendy, and with masks advised for the foreseeable future, people are finding ways to incorporate them into their outfits.
Designers have been releasing their take on face masks — luxury versions include Off-White’s popular $95 Arrow logo face mask and Burberry’s vintage check cotton design, retailing for $115.
“Everyone is on it right now including designers. It is a necessary fashion statement right now”
2. FACE SHIELD
Early on in the pandemic, you may have only seen these shields in images of hospital workers. But just like face masks, they’re becoming more commonplace. Influencers are wearing them in street style photos. You might even see people wearing them at the grocery store.
Who would have thought in 2020 we’d be strutting down the street looking like a badass beekeeper or a femme fatale from the future. Or that we would become a “Choose Your Fighter” avatar from a dystopian video game, kicking ass and social distancing behind a clear vinyl veil.
3. SAFETY HAND GLOVES
Gloves restored in all its glory: Designer Aniket Satam observes that gloves re-emerge as a protective gear. “The material will be of utmost importance as leather won’t work given today’s climatic condition, nor do fancy lace would serve any purpose. Material innovation and modern engineering would be the core foundation of new designs. Think latex, PVC and rubber as the new desired materials,” says he.
Given the pandemic chaos, the fashion set seems to be itching to embrace the old fashioned essentials once again. “From having simpler block color gloves to funky printed gloves to match your daily look, these gloves are on their way to making it a staple in everyone’s wardrobe just like that pair of blue denim we own. Gloves can be worn as a matching accessory to compliment your outfit or one can opt for a printed one to add a bit of contrast,” says designer Vedika M.
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits
The term PPE stands for “personal protective equipment” and is commonly used to refer to safety gear worn by hospital workers to prevent contact with any infectious liquids. The PPE suit shortage in hospitals resulted in numerous fashion designers and brands pitching in and producing their own PPE suits. While most of them still continue to do so, others have simultaneously started to think about their own consumers, and what they could do to provide for them during these trying times.
Since then, PPE suits become trendy and stylistic, people often seek PPE suits not just for its protection but also as a fashion statement. PPE footwear also has gained popularity with workers. In the past, safety shoes were bulky, inflexible and uncomfortable. Today, it can be tough to distinguish protective footwear from fashion footwear.