Suited up for a reset

Comfort and safety are the new fashion business model

By Janie Romer
Posted 6/26/20

As the pandemic continues to disrupt the world, the fashion industry is one area that is being hit hard, and is now looking at how it will be changed in the long term.

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Suited up for a reset

Comfort and safety are the new fashion business model

Posted

As the pandemic continues to disrupt the world, the fashion industry is one area that is being hit hard, and is now looking at how it will be changed in the long term.

Models are out of work as there are no fashion shoots or fashion shows; there are also no new advertising campaigns and there are no commercials being shot. So not only models are out of work, but also photographers, makeup artists - all that world is out of work and will be for a while.

But despite the high fashion world being put on hold, online demand has actually been high for clothing that people associate with comfort. Sales of cashmere, pajamas, slippers and streetwear are booming.

And even though industry mavens predict there will be a serious downturn in spending when things begin to return to normal, they say people will still want to dress well when they come out of lockdown.

In the fashion world as with everywhere, people are thinking maybe this is a time to hit reset, to rethink the current business model because what they have been doing isn't working right now - and it may not work when they finally get back to work.

This pause could, in turn, lead toward a greener fashion industry, with zero-waste fashion production becoming more common. Post-COVID-19, there is also likely to be a seismic shift from global to local, with high fashion not necessarily disappearing but instead seeing more smaller businesses, particularly as main chains close stores.

We thought we'd take a look at a couple of local boutiques as we suited and booted up for the duration. For now, anything as comfy as tracksuits and pajamas, if not those actual items, are the must-have fashion items on our list.

Bent Street, set in the heart of the historic district, is quintessentially Taos. The once ancient adobe houses are now bursting with unique boutiques, galleries, and restaurants among the leafy shade of the tall cottonwoods and the riot of color in the flower-filled gardens.

Adjacent to the John Dunn shopping area it is the first go-to place to experience a unique and exceptionally satisfactory day browsing and eating.

With comfort a high priority, we selected some practical as well as pretty outfits for our Booted and Suited look from Bent Street's Sam's Shop and The Underground. Protective gear can look very attractive, too!

Sam's Shop's Kathleen Fowler has been presenting Taoseñas, as well as a far-flung loyal fan club of satisfied visiting customers, with a consistently delightful yet comfortably wearable selection of feminine clothes and accessories for over 35 years.

Fowler is currently focused on producing masks beautiful enough to be considered the new fashion accessory, and Terrie Manget's Frida Kahlo and Day of the Dead prints are highly coveted. A designer herself, Fowler has ingeniously cut and fashioned her old cross stitch and embroidered table linens into exceptionally pretty masks which can actually enhance rather than clash with an outfit.

"My customer loves beauty and comfort," Fowler says. "Masks are the accessories of the moment - I sold 15 today."

The Underground, owned by Brit Stuart Brown, has the cutting-edge relaxed style that can be found in a cool boutique in London, Soho, New York, and in many a European city.

Apart from carrying Dr. Martens, which are literally running out the door, since they are back on trend in a big way, here is where to find the perfectly fashioned plain T-shirt and other similar wardrobe basics by Alternative Apparel.

The modern take on the Hawaiian shirt in the current summer collection is quite exquisite, and one is spoiled for choice in the assortment of patterns and colors, and which are as popular with women as men. Indeed most of Brown's range, including pants, sweaters and printed T-shirts, are unisex appropriate.

Grace Lerner, our beautiful model, more than lives up to her name. Lerner is, with her impressive poise, an exceptional ballerina, and with natural ease in front of the camera, she could ensure more than enough modeling work to fund her further education, when fashion finds its new footing.

All clothes and jewelry are from Sam's Shop except the Dr. Martens boots, from The Underground.

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