FASHION designer Samkeliso Mpofu of Sanah Designs says the fashion industry was now slowly picking up after being ravaged by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Mpofu, who considers a tape measure as her best friend, told NewsDay Life & Style that more events were now slowly coming up having been slowed down since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March.
“Coronavirus has led to a real existential crisis for the fashion industry as many consumers were not interested in buying clothes. There was much focus on purchasing essential items to survive during the lockdown and I think everyone’s minds had naturally been focused on that,” she said.
“So fashion just becomes an afterthought, or no thought at all. In an effort to maintain some income, many designers and fashion retailers were selling anything they were able to at significantly discounted prices online.”
Mpofu said the closing of the borders had resulted in some people appreciating local clothes as boutiques and some clothing shops started buying from local designers.
“The pandemic enabled me to venture into corporate wear for companies. It is so funny how people really panicked during the pandemic, forcing some to give up on fashion and shift to other trades,” she said.
“As for me it (pandemic) actually created opportunities as I started making masks for companies. I was lucky that I managed to get a pass before a lot of people started making them and without much competition my price was high.”
Mpofu said when face masks were introduced, people who were not in the clothing industry started making them.
“We had to lower our prices and our industry became so competitive. Now things are getting back to normal bit by bit, for we have started dressing people for events and for work,” she said.
Mpofu said while some designers were advertising fashion shows online, it was not clear yet whether Fashion Week will go ahead.
Mpofu early this year featured in a top South African men’s magazine, GQ, after taking part at the Mozambique Fashion Week.
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