I was so pleased to see the latest issue of UK Vogue in the stands last week.
Often the fashion world seems tone deaf to things happening around them – selling fur far longer than it was acceptable, celebrating models that are way too thin, charging ridiculous prices for designer labels, producing clothes in what are essentially sweatshops. Remember the Balenciaga ‘IKEA bag’ that cost £1700?
I am sure some or most of that is still going on, but over the past few months, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga, Gucci, Saint Laurent, H&M, Zara, Pyer Moss and so many more fashion companies have used their available resources to create and donate masks, gloves, gowns, personal protective equipment, and hand sanitiser among other things.
And now Vogue, the fashion bible, has put a healthcare worker on its cover, and featured essential workers in its pages.
Frontline workers are finally getting the accolades they deserve. During this crisis, it has not been actresses, footballers, Instagram influencers, or models receiving praise. They, in many cases, have received a giant backlash. Instead, it has been bus drivers, teachers, supermarket staff, pharmacy workers, healthcare workers and emergency services workers who have received praise and the attention they have deserved for so long. People like the Beckhams, Jennifer Lopez, Gordon Ramsay, Phillip Green, football clubs have all received criticism for spending lockdown in their mansions and complaining, removing themselves to vulnerable coastal town where they do not actually live to isolate, applying to furlough staff when they are so immensely rich they could pay salaries.
Now if only people doing all this essential work to save our societies were paid properly…
I read a very interesting article in the New York Times recently about how celebrity culture has not quite survived the coronavirus – read it here. I am sure celebrity culture will bounce back, but right now coronavirus has knocked traditional celebrities right off the front page.