A lot has happened in many industries since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic earlier this year. In Nigeria especially, many stores and companies were closed down physically to adhere to the lockdown rules announced by the government.
As a result of this, companies and brands in the fashion industry have had to reevaluate their stance, and make pertinent decisions to remain relevant despite the pandemic. Fashion and fashion-related brands have had to repurpose their strategy, thus leading to a change in their operations.
The Lagos Fashion Week, a platform that connects Nigerian buyers and sellers at large in order to grow the fashion industry, for example, has had to effect changes in their general operations. The organisers of this annual event, which was founded by Omoyemi Akerele, had to decide to keep their vision alive, and still add value to their target audience by having a virtual fashion week.
And like we stated before now,, the event was a success as viewers still got to benefit maximally from it.
Also, one of the clearly stated visions for the platform is to be able to reposition fashion as a useful tool for commerce and creativity in Nigeria. Therefore, in light of this, they have been able to organise consistent conversations with fashion experts such as Banke Kuku, Jacqueline Brown, Sam Mensa and many more tagged “In Conversation With”. With their different themes, they have been able to take a stand to shape the future of fashion in Africa while staying safe.
Another good example is the luxury fashion label Tiffany Amber owned by Folake Akindele Coker. They have also had to refocus their brand strategy and products due to the pandemic. The brand which normally puts out high-end products for customers saw a download slope in sales when the pandemic hit Nigeria. While this was a low point for the brand, they also had to make a calculated decision which might be here to stay as the founder said earlier this month.
The Tiffany Amber brand is now known for producing surgical gowns, cloth face masks, scrubs, patient gowns, and all other forms of medical apparel and personal protective equipment needed in medical industries. This redirection has helped to provide more jobs for people despite the pandemic, as well as provide apparel to the frontline workers.
These brands, to mention a few, have now effected possibly permanent changes to their brands and businesses. Even though many stores are now reopening, even though they have been closed for long, such as the Imad Eduso store, fashion business owners are still appreciating the value of remote work.
So as a fashion business owner, have the decisions you made during the crux of the pandemic affected your brand positively, or insignificantly? What changes do you plan to effect in your brand to cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic?
As much as the pandemic brought on uncertainties, demands are still being made by different target audiences. Whether it’s people looking for comfortable home work clothes, or cloth face masks to keep safe, fashion brands still have a role to play in these times!