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The Coronavirus Brings New Trends to the Fashion Industry

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

The fashion industry is the trendsetter of our world and relies on the media’s coverage for people to follow their lead. The beginning of 2020, however, has flipped those roles and put designers, models and leaders in a challenging position that has caused the industry to follow the lead of the news this time. As the coronavirus continues to spread around cultures like clothing trends do, the industry has adapted through innovations we’ve never seen before, along with elements that won’t be seen this year at all.

The timing of the disease gaining popularity fell right on the days of Milan Fashion Week. As Italy was overcome with a large scare, the shows came to an end. Some of the design houses that rely heavily on these specific weeks to launch highly-anticipated collections but had to make rearrangements included Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Versace. Many are delayed until the coast, literally and figuratively, is clear or completely cancelled and broadcasted online instead.

The illness didn’t stop at the runway, though. The biggest names in fashion that gathered in the audience were also affected. After returning back to the U.S. from Milan, Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintuor took humbling precautions and quarantined herself, despite showing any symptoms.

As the pages of her magazine continue to turn, heads will also still be turned on the museum’s steps at The Met Gala on May 4. Many rumors went around that it wouldn’t be happening anymore, but WWD reported that a source put those to rest.

In the wake of all the histeria, fashion experts have done what they can to make it look its best, as they do best. The drop of stocks in all other categories has given a platform for a new accessory to shine. Face masks are being redesigned by brands everywhere to make a statement while fighting germs. Mostly only seen in doctors offices and airports up until this point, they eventually graced the catwalk, almost unrecognizable from the original light blue sheets of paper with floss-like ear straps. Marine Serre showcased a line of masks at Paris Fashion Week, one of which featured gingham print with a black leather trim and harness. Ironically, she told The Hollywood Reporter, “This has been a project going on long before the coronavirus.” Proving that it’s safe to say designers truly have a way of predicting the trends for the year to come.

As any other product, with the rise of demand and scarce supply comes a rise in price. Business Insider reported an Off-White mask originally on the market for about $80, was sold on the resale website StockX for $211, also having to due with the item being sold out on the streetwear’s website.

Ally Stegman

Columbia Chicago '21

aspiring magazine writer with a passion for pop culture and fashion