We are in the last leg of 2020, a year that was no less than a roller-coaster ride…without safety belts! On January 30, 2020, India reported its first COVID-19 case and the rest is history. There’s no denying the fact that A LOT of events took place this year that changed the fashion scenario, nationally and internationally. With the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Pandemic, the fashion industry, just like others, came to a standstill. In tough times like these, the fashion industry took a bold yet commendable decision of valuing human life more than business and revenue. Owing to their public and worker’s safety, many ace Indian designers ad big labels shut their workshops and flagship stores for an indefinite period of time and followed the norms of nation’s lockdown back in March 2020.
Though, after several months of shutdown and closures, there was finally a breath of relief for the fashion fraternity. The nation braced for the phases of unlocking which meant that people could resume back to their work and life and business based on the priorities. Certain restrictions were lifted up in terms of non-essential business that included some of the designer flag stores. Keeping proper precautions in place, many A-listed designers & courtiers opened the doors of their namesake labels and resume to their business with ‘new normalcy’
With that being said, PeepingMoon.com brings you a curated list of designers who got back in the fashion game after months of lockdown.
Keeping in mind the health and safety of his karigars and staff, Manish declared to shut his flagship stores and workshops for an indefinite period of time.
Doing his bit in the ‘war against virus’ he also pledged an undisclosed sum of amount to both Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Maharashtra (CMRF).
In the month of May, Manish announced the opening of its Delhi store with a limited staff. To avoid a large gathering of enthusiastic shoppers in the initial stages of unlocking, the label resorted to the option of allowing store visits with prior appointments. He then opened up his Hyderabad stores later in that month.
Jumping on the social bandwagon was designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee who shut his shop in the ‘middle of the season’ and send his staff on a paid leave. Now that’s what good bosses do, isn’t it?
Besides being a good boss, Sabya rose to the occasion of being a good citizen and donated a handsome sum of Rs.10 million to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and an additional Rs.5 million to the Chief Minister of West Bengal’s Relief Fund.
Later in the last week of May, the ace courtier re-opened his flagship store in Hyderabad and Delhi. Given the threat of the virus was still impactful back then, he resorted to offering consultations on phone and video calls to ensure the safety of his staff as well as consumers.
In an attempt to flatten the curve, House of Masaba shut its doors from March 20 until further notice. While the brick-and-mortar stores were closed for good, the online stores were still functioning.
Doing her bit to help the country, Masaba, under her label started the production of non-surgical masks for donation. These masks were made from fabric that was meant for garments, and were washable and reusable.
In the last week of May, Gupta opened the doors of the House of Masaba in Bengaluru, Karnataka with an extra set of precautions for both, staff as well as customers from her end. This included wearing safety equipment such as masks and gloves at all times, daily thermal screening, constant sanitization, and abiding by social distancing norms.
SHANTANU & NIKHIL
In the wake of Coronavirus back in March, designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil shut their shops and workshops. However, they were available for their patrons and customers via telephones and emails.
Back in June, the designer duo raised contributions for FDCI’s set-up COVID-19 Support Fund by launching an interesting Instagram session featuring industry’s stalwart designers, Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rahul Mishra, and Tarun Tahiliani. The guest designers joined the duo for an IG live chat and auctioned one of their designer pieces to raise funds for this noble cause. Appreciating these efforts, FDCI expressed its gratitude towards Shantanu & Nikhil for making this happen.
In the last week of May, the designers got their Delhi’s Defence Colony Store up-and-running by adhering to the precautions at their end. While they were yet to open other flagship stores in the coming period of time, they offered their customers an option to virtually connect to the stores via video calling and go through their curated digital catalogs for the time being.
Designer Anita Dongre also contributed her bit to society by shutting down her workshops and setting up a dedicated fund of INR 15 Million to support any medical treatments arising through these troubling times.
She began the production of non-surgical masks and generated employment opportunities in these testing times.
With stringent hygiene and social distancing protocols in place, Dongre resumed operations of her Kolkata stores in the last week of May.
ABU JANI- SANDEEP KHOSLA
Designer duo Abu Jani- Sandeep Khosla shut their stores in March, factories and ateliers in New Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad until further notice and later opened them in May keeping proper precautions in place.
Tarun Tahiliani joined the other designers as well and announced the shutdown of its factory and stores until March 31, 2020.
He then opened the doors of his Mumbai and Kolkata stores at the beginning of June keeping proper precautions in place.
Amit Aggarwal adhered to the norms of lockdown and announced the closure of his stores and factories from March 21 onwards.
Abiding by all the necessary precautions, he then resumed his shops from June 1st, 2020.
Designer Gaurav Gupta also fought the ‘war against virus’ by closing his stores and factories from March 21 and later opened its door starting from the first week of June.
Standing together yet apart, these designers made a huge difference to the fashion fraternity indeed!