by Sarah Delgado
To some, the fashion industry is looked over and deemed “unimportant” but in reality, it’s a major part of both the U.S. and Global economy. In a global pandemic such as the one we’re living in today; many are unfortunately realizing the detrimental effects COVID-19 has had on the fashion industry and wondering whether it will break the industry or force companies to adapt to this new normal.
The retail industry is responsible for 42 million American jobs—a fourth of the job market sector and represents $2.6 trillion of the annual U.S GDP. The impact that COVID-19 has caused has been the indefinite closing of retail stores, manufacturers, couture houses, and has halted all production in the meantime. Companies have been forced to lay off thousands of employees or to furlough some of them, contributing to the 22 million unemployed Americans. With sales plummeting and putting businesses in financial crisis, the Retail Industry has gathered together to speak out to the White House for financial support during these unprecedented times.
In the meantime, designers such as Christian Siriano are helping the healthcare workers by reopening their workshops and providing masks, ventilators, and sanitizers. Among these designers include the LMVH group, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani, and many others donating to the COVID-19 relief.
Another question rises amidst this pandemic, how is this going to affect the retail industry? Is this going to push further the closings of stores and force most to move to the ecommerce market? Are people going to spend on sustainable clothing and necessities rather than the fashion they used to about a month ago? One thing is for sure, that the fashion industry has been proven to be important to many.