It’s no news that the novel coronavirus, popularly known as COVID-19 has crippled so many sectors in different parts of the world, including the fashion sector. The coronavirus, now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) has spread to over 150 nations of the world.
Many fashion shows and events have had to be cancelled to avoid spread of the virus. It has been advised that people avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing, and above all, stay home to further prevent the spread of the virus.
We spoke to a number of Nigeria fashion designers on how the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected their fashion brands, and the things they are now restricted from doing. It seems that COVID-19 might have a lasting effect on the Nigerian fashion industry as the fashion designers stated.
Ewaoluwa Balogun, the creative director of Kasewa Clothings, a fashion brand that deals in bespoke, ready-to-wear pieces for males and females, had this to say. “Although, I have been used to technology and online purchases, and I mean puchasing fabrics from online vendors, setting up meetings and fashion consultations online, delivering outfits to customer has been affected by the pandemic”.
Isioma Egbuejeh, the owner and creative director of Isioma.r clothings, a fashion brand that deals in custom-made pieces for both males and females shared this with us. “Deliveries were much more easier than they are now. Some clients also want me to hold on deliveries because of the risks involved, and this has made payments come to a halt too”.
Moketh Clothings, which is a fashion brand that deals with ready-to-wear, custom made pieces for females, owned and creative directed by Oke Elizabeth had this to say. “A lot of events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, and this has in turn affected sales drastically because clients aren’t forthcoming. Posting on our different social media pages, which helps create a good online presence to boost sales, has also been reduced so it doesn’t appear that we’re being insensitive to the pain of people around us.”
Bella Chidie, the creative director of Tailor To Fit, a fashion brand that caters for women’s ready-to-wear, bespoke, dinner dresses also shared with us the brand’s challenges. “Since the outbreak, I haven’t been able to purchase fabrics and other accesories needed to complete clients’ outfits, the restriction to movement hasn’t been favourable. Due to the fact that events aren’t holding anymore and lots of people now work from home, there has been a drastic dip in our clientele.