‘As an industry, we all have a responsibility and role to not only empower our designers but to change global perception and patterns of consumption when it comes to African fashion’, says Industrie Africa founder Nisha Kanabar.

Around the world, lockdowns have had a devastating effect on countries’ economies, including the fashion and luxury sectors, with retailers having to close brick-and-mortar stores amid concerns about the health of employees and clients, high rent and vanished customers.

In the US, many department stores and iconic fashion brands have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of the pandemic. These include Neiman Marcus, J Crew, JC Penney and renowned suiting brand Brooks Brothers. Back home, luxury Italian brand Prada had to close its only South African store, located in Sandton which opened only five years earlier.

Given persistent worries associated with opening stores, physical retail businesses have become a heavy expense for some brands. In June, luxury couture label Valentino filed a lawsuit against the landlords of its boutique on 5th Avenue in New York, in an attempt to exit the lease nine years before the end of the original agreement. Valentino hasn’t been the only retailer to try this.

Meanwhile, e-commerce websites…



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