Eletiofe How the COVID-19 pandemic affected fashion shows in Nigeria...

How the COVID-19 pandemic affected fashion shows in Nigeria and the rest of the world


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The impact of Corona virus inundated every sector of the economy including the fashion industry.

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Fashion shows are known for the glitz and glamour. Celebrities, influencers, models, and photographers gather in one city for a week of nonstop fashion and networking but all these were halted due to corona virus.

Innovation is the driving force of every industry, ‘innovate or die’ is a colloquial yet true phrase. In fashion, much more than any other industry being current and trendy is important.

The corona virus pandemic has made the world focus more on social media as people are typically looking at their phones all day long. Especially during the pandemic, we were locked up at home with nothing better to do.

One of the ways, fashion houses have gone around the pandemic is by taking their social media influencing game up a notch.

One thing the pandemic has taught us is that we must find a way to innovate ourselves out of any hurdle and the fashion industry was not left out.

Nigeria is lagging in the novelty of virtual fashion shows. Though this in itself might be a temporary lull until corona is over or at least until it is safe to host such.

One prominent event during the lockdown was the release of Deola Sagoe’s Tropical Galactica, 02 Ethereal collection on Deola Sagoe’s official Instagram.

Also, the Lagos Fashion Week 2021 was just concluded. It held a physical fashion show, virtual workshops and an after-party. It appears that only Emmy Kasbit released a virtual video of his collection.

The fashion show had the likes of Lisa Folawiyo, Orange Nerd Culture, Andrea Iyamah, Bloke, Christie Brown, Maxivize, and Nkwo.

Worldwide, the show continued and one brand that understood this well is Adidas. They used Beyonce for their ivy park campaign.

She modelled the clothes herself and used celebrity models like Hailey Bieber. She also sent packages to her celebrity friends, making them influencers too. Within a week, ivy park was sold out.

The show must go on and so it did, fashion houses in Paris, London and United States ran their campaigns virtually.

Simon Porte founder of fashion line Jacquemus told Vogue, “For me, the runway can’t be a video. It’s at the heart of what we do; it’s not superficial. It’s important to all of us to continue, just like a restaurant that reopens. It’s like a movie of a summer day. It’s our life.”

Despite the downside of not having a physical fashion show with the attendant benefit of networking, street fashion and live interaction with the fashion week atmosphere. The way creative directors dove deep into their imagination was amazing.

Watching these shows from the comfort of our homes with the option of shopping online has in a way covered up for the void created by the coronavirus.

Louis Vuitton, Prada, Thierry Mugler, Balmain and almost all fashion houses had to have virtual fashion shows. At the very top of the list is the Balmain Fall/Winter Show 2021.

Creative Director Oliver Rousteing brought forth an outer space experience. It started with him pressing a button and models appeared on different screens.

The music was enchanting and enthralling, flowing perfectly with the models’ strutting down the tarmac. The visuals were excellent. At the end of the show, it appeared as though they were standing on the moon.

Another way Balmain circumvented the troubles brought by the coronavirus is by using influencers like Kim Kardashian West.

It seems Nigeria and Nigeria’s fashion industry have moved on from the effect of the coronavirus.

Could it be because Nigerians do not have a fashion show culture to begin with? or because the fashion industry is just budding? or because the effect of the Corona Virus was not as severe in Nigeria as the rest of the world?

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