Reflection:2020 Fashion in Times of Crisis

Reflection:2020 Fashion in Times of Crisis

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When reflecting over the year that was 2020 in fashion is to take a look back at a timeline documenting a country spiraling into crisis. Fashion found itself not immune as the world faced unfounded challenges and a public health crisis. Fashions curators embraced world changed in an instant. With millions working from home styling became a bit difficult and many lost appetite for fashion , with mounting job insecurity and anxiety over public health concerns.

A recent report printed by the Business of Fashion indicated that sales in the fashion powerhouse, China, dropped drastically at the start of the year.  The US and other western countries followed close behind with sales seeing sharp declines in in March. The same report cited that year-over-year profiles took a cliff dive by nearly 90% in 2020 after seeing gains the prior year.

While the definite front runner, the pandemic was only one of the crisis impacting the fashion industry. The world as a whole was facing a reckoning in regards to how our actions impacted the world. This ranged from Climate, poor working conditions of fashion factory workers and its failure to create inclusive workplaces. These combines impacts forces the fashion industry reeling to find its place on a world far less focused on its luxury and frivolousness upon which it was built. This force the industry to refocus its efforts at regaining momentum.


Without a question the biggest fashion adjustment was the addition of face mask. It quickly became a top fashion accessory. Face mask designers popped up seemingly over night as people made their own as they became the finishing touch for many outfits. Some manufactures went at far as marketing their mask and other accessories as antimicrobial.  However, the effectiveness of those claims are yet to be proven. The face mask even made its way to Paris Fashion week with some high fashion options.

Best face masks for any occasion, according to experts


With the flood of people switching to a new work from home norm it is no surprise that loungewear was a hot item. According to fashion platform Lyst  that a review of over 100 million online shoppers found the top searches were  Ugg Slippers, Birkenstock clogs, Crocs and Nike joggers. It was clear loungewear was replacing office attire. "Cottagecore" became a newly adapted home aesthetic with TikTok users showing off their attempts to achieve the decor.

Bella Hadid Can't Get Enough of These Ugg Slippers | Teen Vogue


Fashion took less of a a dress to impress approach and dawned a need to make a statement.  Black Lives Matter T-Shirt and Vote teeshirts portrayed a need to convey a message and made huge statement of the political and social environment. Portraying powerful message of a world embroiled in unrest.

Michele Obama's Vote Necklace quickly became a best seller. Rounding it off was the the whit pant suit worn by Kamala Harris in her acceptance speech which was a nod to women suffrage and power of women's vote.

Katie Holmes Just Wore a $15 'Vote' T-Shirt From Old Navy | Glamour


Entering into 20201 undoubtedly recovery from the pandemic for the fashion industry will be a slow one. The trends that started in 2020 have no sign of ending in 2021. Mask wearing wearing will continue to be a staple and social distancing will likely still continue. However as the industry has portrayed it is more that flexible and able to rise the occasion true to its artistic form.

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