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Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Quarantine, but make it fashion.

Although that might have been a phrase uttered in ironic social media posts, the reality is that the fashion industry has experienced major disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, fashion is ever-evolving — and often as a result of social and global change — so it makes sense that some brands are able to roll with the punches and address emerging consumer demands. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the fashion industry has been impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Fashion Industry Outlook

Around 50% of small businesses survive for five years or more — and independent designers and even small-but-well-known brands are having a tough time due to COVID-19. While brands owned by luxury conglomerates are weathering the storm just fine (and some have even seen revenue increases since the onset of the pandemic), even high-end independent brands like Tiffany and Co., Mulberry, and Salvatore Ferragamo have endured massive layoffs and multi-million dollar losses. Not surprisingly, most consumers aren’t in a position to drop a ton of cash on a brand name bag or an expensive necklace right now.

It’s also important to note that the global supply chain for brands has seen major upsets, especially when it comes to fast fashion. Brands aren’t able to deliver low-cost products quickly, as their suppliers have often been cut off due to the virus. As a result, many stores (like Zara) have shut location doors permanently and others (like H and M) have offered massive mid-season sales to make up for the loss in revenue. Even Anna Wintour of Vogue has hinted that the pandemic could spell the end of the road for fast fashion.

Fashionable Face Masks

Still, creativity continues to thrive — and necessity is the mother of invention, as is evidenced by the many designers who have switched gears from couture dresses to face coverings. From Eva Franco and Alice + Olivia to independent Etsy shops, brands have been making — and selling out — face masks for months. Even major corporations like Disney and sports organizations have gotten into the game. Now that the CDC agrees that mask-wearing is essential for all persons over the age of two, consumers are eager to get their hands on reusable fabric masks that can protect them in public spaces. Despite the fact that 93% of kids have seen a doctor within the last year, both children and adults want to do what they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. That means there’s a major market for face coverings. And while no one is making a substantial income from these masks (as the unwritten rule is to cover only the cost of materials and minimal labor), it’s a way for brands to stay in the public eye, keep employees busy, and provide a much-needed product to the masses.

Work-From-Home Style

In-person fashion shows, like so many events, have gone digital. The combination of travel restrictions and social distancing requirements makes strutting down the catwalk or sitting in the front row next to impossible. And while some people are looking for a bit of escapism, many others just want to be comfortable.

Around 60% of millennials say that improved technology will make the need for face-to-face conversations obsolete — and we’ve seen that put to the test throughout the pandemic. Although it may have been surprising to some, the fact is that business meetings and social get-togethers can take place to great effect via video chat.

As a result, much of the workforce is being productive from their living rooms. While they might be inclined to wear a nice shirt or blouse on top, many of these employees are wearing sweatpants or loungewear on the bottom. And those who have been laid off and have nowhere to go are also opting for ultimate comfort. Sales of pajamas increased by 143% in April, while purchases of pants, bras, and jackets dropped by percentage points in the double digits. And although Crocs saw some major sales thanks to the pandemic and many athletic footwear companies have seen some successes, overall shoe sales were down in Q1 of 2020.

That said, these trends might reverse as states start to reopen. When China finally reopened, one Hermes store had its biggest sales day in history because consumers were so eager to get back to other shopping habits. Still, some are saying that transitioning from comfy clothes to restrictive workwear might not be easy, particularly because weight gain has proven common during the quarantine. Online secondhand clothing sales, especially those on platforms like Poshmark and Mercari, have been fruitful throughout the pandemic — but once retailers and thrift stores start to reopen, it’s possible that those sales might start to dip.

But what might happen over the next couple of months is still a bit of an unknown, especially as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise in areas that have already reopened. We might well have to brace for a second wave, which could cause us to revert to our pandemic habits — but brands might be better prepared for that possibility now that they can more accurately predict consumer behavior.

COVID-19 face masks

The Must-Have Accessory: Fashion Brands Start Selling COVID-19 Face Masks

In the fashion world, a must-have accessory is something that’s on-trend. It’s a piece that’s so popular that not having it signals you’re out of touch with the latest developments in fashion. In a world currently coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, a must-have accessory is something that protects your health and the health of everyone around you. Without it, you risk contracting the coronavirus, spreading it to anyone you interact with, and unraveling the progress communities have made so far in flattening the curve.

The COVID-19 face masks have quickly found itself at the intersection of these two meanings of “must-have accessory.” At the beginning of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending that every individual wear a cloth face-covering whenever they are in public settings where it is hard to maintain social distancing measures, such as at the grocery store or pharmacy. The CDC emphasizes that the cloth face coverings can be made out of household items and that surgical masks and N-95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

Despite this recommendation, government officials have done little to help the general public obtain the appropriate COVID-19 face masks. People who are handy with a needle and thread can make them out of bedsheets or scarves, but what about the large portion of the public who don’t have the time or skills to create homemade COVID-19 face masks?

COVID-19 face masks

That’s where fashion brands are stepping in. As the demand for face masks skyrockets, brands have started designing their own versions of the COVID-19 face masks and selling them to consumers. Not only do consumers need masks to leave their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but masks from designers are much more visually interesting than standard medical masks. Masks from fashion companies have quickly become a new form of self-expression, helping consumers maintain a sense of individuality while they wear something that covers half of their faces. Some of our favorite fashionable COVID-19 face masks include Dalia MacPhee, Christopher Palu, Ivon Los Angeles, Grace Eleyae, and Christy Dawn  (photos included in this feature).

COVID-19 face masks

Selling aesthetically-pleasing face masks is also beneficial for the revenue of these brands. In 2018, consumers spent about $517 billion online working with U.S. merchants. A good portion of those billions has dried up as the coronavirus continues to change the financial wellbeing of Americans, causing consumers to be much more conscious about how they spend their money. Selling practical, yet fashionable, face masks are the perfect opportunity for clothing companies to tap into the demands of the public and keep their businesses afloat at the same time.

COVID-19 face masks

As brands have been rolling out masks, they’ve been incorporating more practical features as well as appealing designs. One issue some people had anticipated with making and selling masks in this crisis was how they would get the necessary materials. About 95% of the world’s cargo moves by ship, but the global pandemic has all but stopped companies’ normal supply chains. Luckily, brands have found ways to make masks without having to further tax the world’s limited supply of resources. Many have been recycling fabrics from their past collections or using scraps of denim and other fabrics that would otherwise have been thrown away. Brands are also taking care to make masks with washable fabric so that consumers can sanitize their masks and re-wear them.

COVID-19 face masks

Many fashion brands are running special deals that also help out the country’s hard-working healthcare workers. Offering 1+1 or 5+5 match packages has become commonplace on websites of fashion brands. When you buy a 5+5 pack at Christy Dawn, for example, you will receive five sustainable, reusable masks and the other five masks will be sent to medical workers. Other brands are making donations on their own to help those in need. For instance, J.Crew and Madewell are each selling non-medical face masks in packs of three for consumers but have also donated a total of 75,000 single-use masks to the healthcare system. Rose Brand is donating 20% of the sale of their 3-pk of Make A Difference and Keep Your Distance COVID-19 face masks to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Coronavirus Sustainable Face Mask

If you’ve been procrastinating making a mask of your own, check to see if any of your favorite fashion brands are selling non-surgical face masks. You may even be able to find out in an easy zero-click search, a type of search that makes up over 62% of mobile searches and will answer your query right on the results page without you having to click on any links. Once you have your answer, you can start browsing the brand’s mask options and find one that speaks to your style and budget. Remember to keep an eye out for deals that send masks to those in need so that you can do your part to help the community.

Even as coronavirus hospitalizations start to slow down in the United States, Keep Your Distance that the public will need to keep up social distancing measures for the foreseeable future. Some even predict these measures extending into the next year and beyond, with this health crisis permanently changing how people interact with the world. This means that although some parts of society may start returning to normal, it’s likely that wearing face masks in public will be the new normal. Investing in sustainable, reusable face masks now will help keep you healthy, keep small fashion brands in the business, and keep healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 protected against the virus.

Fashion and Alcohol Companies Step Up To Meet Coronavirus Needs

Fashion and Alcohol Companies Step Up To Meet Coronavirus Needs

The COVID-19 outbreak has turned modern society on its head, taking children out of schools, keeping consumers at home rather than in bars and stores, and halting the operations of all types of businesses. While various businesses are pausing their usual productions and sales, many are finding new purpose in the national effort to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Fashion and textile companies across the country are focusing their efforts on making face masks and hospital gowns while distilleries are adjusting operations so that they can produce disinfectants and hand sanitizers. Although statistics show that as many as 70% of business partnerships fail, partnerships within these businesses are coming together to satisfy the needs of healthcare workers in the United States. The collaboration, internally and externally, of these companies to adjust their operations could prove to be a game-changer in the fight again coronavirus.

Fashion Brands Making a Difference

While retail stores close their doors and fashion events are canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, brands across the country have started using their resources and skills to make face masks and hospital gowns for healthcare workers. The supply of face masks, in particular, has quickly plummeted in the United States as the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations has skyrocketed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even suggested that healthcare workers use bandanas or scarves to cover their faces while treating patients if no other supplies are available, although neither are proven effective at keeping out airborne particles.

Fashion and Alcohol Companies Step Up To Meet Coronavirus Needs

PHOTO by @ocregister/Instagram

To help keep healthcare workers from turning to this last resort, major fashion brands are stepping up. The National Council of Textile Organizations announced on March 21 that they would work with the federal government to come together and produce face masks. There are 10 businesses within this coalition taking part in the effort, including Los Angeles Apparel, Hanes Brand, and AST Sportswear Inc. as well as a handful of other names.

Fashion and Alcohol Companies Step Up To Meet Coronavirus Needs

PHOTO by @csiriano/Instagram

Independent brands are also committing to making the supplies that healthcare workers need. Christian Siriano, a New York fashion designer and the host of “Project Runway,” stepped up to the need early on. He tweeted an offer to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 20 to have his team of sewers work from home to make masks. About 83% of consumers “love” or “like” when a business responds to them on social media and Gov. Cuomo was no different. Shortly after Siriano’s offer, Cuomo tweeted that his team was in talks with Siriano and urged other New York brands to follow suit. As of March 24, Siriano’s mask prototypes were pending government approval to ensure they are safe and effective.

Fashion and Alcohol Companies Step Up To Meet Coronavirus Needs - Michael Costello

PHOTO by @michaelcostello/Instagram

Fellow New York-based designer Brandon Maxwell is also pivoting his brand’s operations to gown and mask production. Maxwell has also announced that he will give away three wedding dresses to brides affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In Los Angeles, designer Michael Costello has created a washable face mask in a black, cotton-nylon stretch fabric and is reproducing it at a rate of about 150 masks per day. They are considered non-surgical grade masks, but Costello says the research he has done shows that the materials he’s using have high air filtration effectiveness rates.

Citizens of Humanity is creating a face mask prototype made of 100% cotton to send to various organizations around Los Angeles, including UCLA Health and Stanford Children’s Hospital. The company says that its factory could potentially produce up to 150,000 masks each week and that gowns and other items could be next on their production schedule.

Distilleries Swap Liquor for Disinfectant

Before scientific advances spurred companies to produce specific formulas for sanitizers, alcohol was used for centuries as a crude disinfectant. While the two products now have separate industries, the lines are blurring again as distilleries across the country use their existing equipment and knowledge to make disinfectants instead of liquor.

NY Distilleries Get Green Light to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Pernod Ricard, a $34 billion French drinks group, has dozens of distilleries around the world that are trading out their liquor operations for sanitizer production. Jameson Whiskey and Absolut Vodka, both of which are owned by Pernod Ricard, received government approvals within 24 hours of submitting proposals to create batches of hand sanitizer. By the end of the same week, they were rolling their first products off production lines in Arkansas.

To help other distilleries do the same, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has waived provisions of internal revenue law to authorize permitted distillers to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers. While most participating distilleries have a substantial amount of ethanol on hand, they’ve had to source other key ingredients such as glycerin and hydrogen peroxide, which they don’t usually use, as well as the right plastic containers for packaging their hand sanitizers. Once they gather the ingredients, the master blenders at distilleries have used their expertise as well as the World Health Organization’s recipe for high-quality hand sanitizer to create disinfectants in this time of shortages.

BACARDI HELPS PRODUCE HAND SANITIZERS WITH CHANGE IN PRODUCTION

Although the U.S. may consume the largest volume of wine of any country in the world, it is also partial to its liquor. And America’s favorite distilleries, small and large, are taking on this initiative as well. BACARDI Rum is partnering with Puerto Rico-based lubricant manufacturer Olein Refinery to make sanitizers. In upstate New York, smaller distilleries are also shifting operations to help local healthcare workers. These distilleries offering a helping hand include Kymar Farm Distillery, Sauvage Beverage Distillery, and Black Button Distilling. Other distilleries-turned-sanitizer-producers throughout the U.S. include the Tennessee Distillers Guild, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Nevada, and Ko’olau Distillery in Ohau, Hawaii.

As businesses across the country adjust their everyday operations to help in the time of coronavirus, individuals can see first-hand the impact of small contributions. What can you do to help your community and ensure that everyone stays connected during these tough times?

Beauty Technology: FOREO UFO LED Thermo Activated Smart Mask

What’s New in Beauty Tech: Foreo UFO: The Sophisticated Smart Mask

We have been on a face mask roll lately and our skin is loving it. This time around, we’re getting a lot more technological as we try out the Foreo UFO, the sophisticated smart mask. This smart, blue tooth-enabled facial mask combines groundbreaking hyper-infusion technology with innovative K-beauty formulas for a complete facial treatment in 90 seconds. You may already be familiar with and enjoyed some of Foreo’s innovative beauty tech devices, the Foreo UFO will also win your beauty-loving heart.

Beauty Technology: FOREO UFO LED Thermo Activated Smart Mask

UFO integrates thermo-therapy and cryo-therapy to push the mask’s essence into the skin’s surface and lock in moisture while reducing the appearance of pores. T-sonic pulsations gently massage mask essence into the skin, while full-spectrum LED light therapy completely rejuvenates skin—unveiling a refined, radiant complexion.

Beauty Technology: FOREO UFO LED Thermo Activated Smart Mask

It was lust at first sight and love at first use of the Foreo UFO Smart Mask at Pepcom. We relished indulging in this groundbreaking beauty tech device and transcendent smart mask treatment. As previously hinted above, the Foreo UFO combines advanced dermal technologies with exclusive Korean mask formulas for a decadent facial treatment in seconds. 90 seconds is all you need to enjoy the full benefits of this smart mask device. You’ll love everything about this innovative beauty device that will help to transform your skin’s complexion and give you a spa-worthy facial. We certainly do!

Beauty Technology: FOREO UFO LED Thermo Activated Smart Mask

The Foreo UFO offers a range of UFO-Activated, single-use masks and expert routines, optimized for specific skin care benefits. The individually wrapped mini sheet masks include Make My Day, Call It a Night, Matte Maniac, Glow Addict, H2Overdose, Shimmer Freak Eye Mask, and Youth Junkie. They are available in a box of seven per box for $9.99. We started off with the Make My Day mask, a lux red algae and hyaluronic acid face mask that left our skin looking and feeling hydrated, as well as protected. We are looking forward to trying the others, especially the Matte Maniac soon.

In 90 seconds, this wonder device will prep, moisturize, and protect your skin. Using the coordinating Foreo App, you begin with a Thermo-Therapy and revitalizing red LED light that smooths and preps your skin to absorb the mask’s full benefits. After 30 seconds, the UFO’s T-Sonic pulsations are added to the heat to help with absorption of the hydrating serum. During the last 30 seconds, the heat gradually decreases and the anti-pollution formula is locked into the skin while the LED gives your skin an instant boost of radiance for an all-day glow. With the UFO, you’ll enjoy three targeted photo facials in one at-home device.

Beauty Technology: FOREO UFO LED Thermo Activated Smart Mask

Exclusively developed for the flagship UFO model, Cryo-Therapy mode is an effortless way to diminish the appearance of pores and reduce puffiness. No need to stash skincare in the freezer – with the simple touch of a button, UFO instantly cools to refresh and invigorate skin.

The 100 percent waterproof UFO Smart Mask is easy to clean between uses and the included stand (not pictured) keeps your UFO where it belongs when not in use – on display.  It is USB-rechargeable, lightweight, portable, and is available in three colors – Fuschia, Mint, and Pearl Pink. Plus every UFO comes with a 10-Year Quality Guarantee and 2-Year Limited Warranty. Get your favorite color for $279.00 on www.foreo.com, Sephora retail locations, and www.sephora.com.

Sleeping Beauty: Innisfree Beauty Welcomes New NYC Flagship Store

Take it from someone who knows first hand, we do not get enough sleep. Unfortunately, we are at a time when self-care has taken a back seat to working and getting things done. We’re not even talking about treating yourself to a vacation or spa treatment, we’re talking about simply getting enough sleep. Raise your hand if you get a full eight hours of sleep; how about five or six? We have personally been getting by on five or less and it’s been taking its toll on our skin and bodies. We recently had the pleasure of learning all about the benefits of getting enough “beauty sleep” from Sleep Expert, Dr. Rebecca Robbins. Our beauty sleep masterclass was held at the new flagship location of Innisfree Beauty, the K Beauty brand offering innovative beauty products. We also had the pleasure of being introduced to the must-have overnight beauty products from Innisfree Beauty.

We ventured up to the mini oasis that is the second floor to hear Dr. Robbins spoke about the benefits and importance of sleep and its impact on your skin and overall health. We learned about the various levels of sleep, the ideal amount of sleep we should all get, and of course, how the right amount of sleep and the right skincare products can keep you looking your best.

We highly recommend you pop into this K Beauty haven to get acquainted with all six of their overnight beauty products. Whether you need help with anti-oxidants, moisturizing, hydrating, brightening, or anti-aging, these overnight skincare solutions are amazing…..we’re currently obsessed. As we don’t get enough beauty sleep, we’ll happily take all the extra help we can get to improve our skin health.

Innisfree Beauty products like the Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask and Lip Sleeping Pack with Canola Honey are targeted to work and improve skin while you sleep. They, along with all Innisfree Beauty products, are made from the finest natural ingredients responsibly sourced from Korea’s pristine Jeju Island.

Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask – Rest easy as you indulge in this deeply nourishing night cream, infused with Jeju Tangerine Peel Extract, Jeju Green Tea Extract and rich Shea Butter. The zesty peel of Jeju Tangerines has four times the amount of anti-oxidant-rich Vitamin C than the juicy flesh. That’s the secret of this overnight cream that’s formulated to help even skin tone and reduce the look of dark spots. Wake up to skin that looks and feels astonishingly moist, supple and bright.

Lip Sleeping Pack with Canola Honey – Pamper your pout while you sleep with this deeply moisturizing evening lip balm formulated to care for and nourish your lips with Jeju Canola Honey and Oil. Smooth it on before you hit the sack and wake up to smoother, more hydrated lips.

Innisfree also offers a series of free 30 minute classes at their flagship, including Skincare Series {Age Delay – Keep it Strong!}, Girls’ Guide “Day to Night” Looks, Intro to K Beauty Skin Care Routine, and Make-up Series {Complexion – My Cushion 101}. We know you want to know more, so head over to Innisfree’s NYC flagship location in Union Square at 862 Broadway. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Give Your Skin A Holiday With These Must-Have Renewing Masks

The holiday season can always be a stressful and hectic time. The stress can take its toll on your body and of course show on your face. Just as we all need a holiday from work and the stresses of life, your skin deserves a holiday as well. The quickest way to de-stress your skin is pampering it with renewing masks like these from international skincare brands, Eleni & Chris and Sand & Sky.

Say hello to enjoying a Scandinavian, and Australian glow with the revitalizing and energizing facial masks from Eleni & Chris and the detoxifying and brightening Sand and Sky. These renewing masks treat your skin to a much-needed escape from the stress and harsh temperatures of the holiday season.

Eleni & Chris Sincell Face Mask: Detox $9.00

Revive and replenish your face with this cream-like soft touch mask that intensely hydrates the skin and balances your complexion. The ultra-fine long fiber Eleni & Chris Sincell Face Mask: Detox leaves your skin healthier with the help of Grapefruit Licorice Root and Oat Extract. It revives, energizes, and protects your skin from toxins and free-radicals without removing your skin’s essential natural oils. Get a single for $9.00 each or a set of six for $49.00 at www.eleniandchris.com.

Eleni & Chris Bio-Cellulose Age Renewal Eye Mask $8.00

Treat your eyes to a new kind of indulgence with CAVIAR. This eye sheet mask delivers unique Scandinavian ingredients in a bio-cellulose technology, which treats the skin around the eye to a new kind of indulgence. It leaves you with firmer, radiant skin with velvety soft and smooth touch. The Eleni & Chris Bio-Cellulose Age Renewal Eye Mask is proven to reduce and prevent wrinkles with the help of Cloudberry, Sea Fennel, and Japanese Cherry. Get a single for $8.00 each or a set of six for $44.00 at www.eleniandchris.com.

Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask $49.00

This 4-in-1 Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask brightens your skin in just 10 minutes. This botanical treatment mask works by combating pollution and minimizing excess oil while refining pores, regulating sebum and reducing pigmentation to reveal smooth skin with a glow with the first use. It can be used as an instant detox mask to draw out impurities, toxins, and pollutants from the skin. It comes with an application brush for mess-free application. The Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask is available for $49.00 at www.sandandsky.com.

What are your thoughts on these renewing masks? Does your skin deserve a little holiday break?

Face Off, Game On: GLAMGLOW Sonic the Hedgehog GravityMud Mask

What do you do when you grow up? You usually leave your childhood behind, this includes the characters that entertained you while you were young. You grow into adulthood and leave those characters behind for the younger generations. What if you could reacquaint yourself with your favorite character, but in an adult way? Thanks to GLAMGLOW (now under the Estee Lauder umbrella) and artist Donald Robertson aka Drawbertson, beauty addicts, female gamers, and fans of Sonic the Hedgehog can do just that. Say hello to the GLAMGLOW Sonic the Hedgehog GravityMud Mask.

Glamglow_Sonic_the_Hedge_GravityMud_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com
Glamglow_Sonic_the_Hedge_GravityMud2_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

In honor of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th birthday Donald Robertson and GLAMGLOW created a limited edition, blue version of GLAMGLOW’s GRAVITYMUD. This innovative peel off mud treatment, which comes in blue Sonic the Hedgehog branded packaging, instantly leaves your skin feeling firmer and more lifted. In its original formula, the ingredients transform from white to brilliant chrome, leaving your skin toned and with sexy contours. This little bit of magic is powered by TEAOXI™ Marshmallow + Licorice Leaf. With the Limited Edition Sonic the Hedgehog GRAVITYMUD, the peel off mask stays blue from application to removal.

Drawbertson_Sonic_the_Hedgehog_Artwork_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

To honor Sonic the Hedgehog, Donald Robertson created an illustration that depicted the gaming character as a fashionista, giving her a chic look while keeping signature details, like Sonic’s cool blue hairdo, white gloves, and red shoes.

Sadly if you’re looking to purchase the GLAMGLOW Sonic the Hedgehog GravityMud Mask, it’s not available for sale but you can snag unlimited amounts of the regular, chrome GLAMGLOW GravityMud Mask for $69.00 each on www.glamglow.com. While you’re there, try out some of their other amazing products that we’re sure you’ll also fall head over heels for. If you are one of the lucky ones to snag the limited edition masks, please share your gaming and masking stories with us.