Not that time makes any sense in the year 2020, but we’re halfway through July. In more battles against COVID-19, this week, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the virus, after months of receiving backlash for his terrible management of the pandemic in his country. Meanwhile, the economic aftermath of the virus is beyond chaotic and the UK government has pledged $38 billion to saving jobs through tax and spending measures. In more positive news, Thailand has backed a bill supporting same-sex unions that allow couples to adopt children and jointly own property. Although it doesn’t use the word marriage, it is quite an affirmative step forward, especially keeping the attitude of South East Asian countries towards LGBTQ+ rights in mind. And here is everything else that went down this week in fashion.
Shein received backlash for blasphemy
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Chinese fast-fashion online retailer Shein, best known for dumping products at dirt cheap prices, has come under fire for selling a traditional Islamic prayer rug advertised as a ‘Greek fret carpet’. The carpet has a design of the Kaaba (a sacred site in the Great Mosque in Mecca) in the middle, while another carpet is designed with an outline of a mihrab. Instagram’s @DietPrada also points out the symbolism of a Chinese owned retailer selling such hurtful products at a time when China is under scrutiny for vast human rights violations against the Uyghur muslim community in Xinjiang. If poor working conditions for labourers or a callous attitude towards the environment wasn’t enough, maybe this blasphemous act by Shein is enough to encourage people to boycott the fast-fashion giant.
Boohoo’s shares took a plunge
Boohoo dropped by Next, Asos and Zalando over exploitation claims https://t.co/uVURqBkvGZ
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 7, 2020
UK fast fashion giant Boohoo is in trouble after reports revealed its mistreatment of factory workers during corona—and its shares plunged by nearly a third, dropping £1.5 billion in only two days. Last week, we reported on how Boohoo had been exposed by an advocacy group for violation of workers rights in their factories in Leicester including paying them as little as £3.50 an hour. Since then, Boohoo has stated that they are investigating this claim. Most online fashion retailers have seen a boom in their business during lockdown and Boohoo is no exception—so the dip in share prices is sharp enough to have investors and shareholders rightfully rattled. We’re curious to see what comes out of the internal investigation and how the retailer will work its way out of this mess.
Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy
Retailer Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, squeezed by the coronavirus pandemic and a yearslong shift to casual office attire https://t.co/ZSjnSgdipx
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 8, 2020
In news emerging from the high-street, Brooks Brothers has filed for bankruptcy. One of the oldest brands in America—having started nearly 200 years ago—seems to be another victim of COVID-19, and has turned to the courts to seek protection from creditors while they search for new buyers. With 500 stores around the globe, and half of them being spread through the states, the brand employs over 4000 people—a lot of whom will now be out of work. Although it had already made the decision to close down 51 stores last month, it now prepares for more closures as well as the shutting down of factories.
Louis Vuitton got its show on the road
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As the fashion industry got a majorly kicked in the ass by corona, many brands were forced to rethink their traditional—re: outdated—modes of operation. Louis Vuitton has done some reflecting and decided it will no longer abide by its menswear schedule, but instead will showcase itself in physical runway displays that are seasonless. Beginning in Shanghai on August 6, followed by an event in Tokyo, an international tour will follow to display the new menswear collection. Titles ‘Message in a Bottle’, the 2021 collection is centred around sustainability—work that can be recycled, upcycled and reissued. Let’s see how this new era of fashion will turn out for Louis Vuitton and more.