The coronavirus pandemic has gutted the fashion world, slashing jobs, closing department stores, and ravaging industry capitals like Milan, Paris, and New York. Events are canceled and trends hardly matter to those social distancing at home. It seems frivolous to care about fashion right now. But fashion still cares.
In less urgent times, designers’ activism can feel gestural or hollow. Putting a runway model in a feminist slogan T-shirt does little for the general public. But when a true crisis hits, power players open their studios, supply chains, and (perhaps most importantly) wallets.
Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director for Condé Nast, announced that her glossy, along with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), would open up a relief fund for those in the industry impacted by the virus.