COVID-19 is the hot potato these days which everyone is simply swallowing. With roughly over 5.6 million cases and over 350,000 deaths worldwide as of May 27th, it has had a massive effect on every single industry out there. As many industries are inter-related, businesses are struggling to grow and industries are finding it harder to excel. This is a domino effect which the fashion industry also seems to have fallen into.

Some of the most significant industries seem to be having a colossal effect due to the pandemic, and while the fashion industry might seem like an insubstantial part of lifestyle, it still plays a primary role in generating revenue. The dooming condition of the fashion industry would have a perishing impact all over the world affecting every single person involved, whether it is the artist or the fashion influencer or the furloughing employees.

In simple words, the situation of the pandemic is still dicey. Despite the lockdown being lifted in some parts of the world – or at least easing out – one thing is for sure; the fashion industry is being affected, and may not be the same once this whole fiasco is settled.

The Global Impact

The fashion industry seems to be suffering globally. As per research, global clothing sales have dropped down by a full 34%. The reason for this is simple – nobody wants to buy clothes that they can only wear at home. Retailers have shut down, production has sealed and demand has decreased. The virus escalated in the midst of the fall 2020 season, and has led design houses as well as leading brands such as The Modist to shutter their doors. Even major events, such as the CFDA Awards and the Met Gala have been postponed indefinitely. However, the good news is London Fashion Week and Arab Fashion Week have both announced virtual reality fashion shows in June 2020. This will give a new dimension with a hard footprint in the digital transformation world.

COVID-19’s Impact On The Gulf Fashion Industry

If we talk about the effect in the Gulf countries, we can already see them adapting to the new dynamics of the present situation and how their perception towards fashion seems to be changing. In simple words, the struggles of the Gulf fashion industry are beyond being trivial.

In light of the outbreak, procurement of materials is one of the biggest challenges that the industry is facing. The fact of the matter is that China is a global leader as the largest textile producer and exporter ruling with nearly 37.6% of the market share. Now that local Chinese governments have shuttered factories to ensure the safety of their workers, manufacturing has come to a halt, thereby leading to a severe disruption in the supply chain. The situation has led to months of operational delays as many designers and brands rely on China to source raw material.

To sum it up, local creatives within the Gulf region must rethink the way they operate, along with how and where they should source their materials from!

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