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How the Fashion and Beauty Industries Are Responding to Staying Home

How the Fashion and Beauty Industries Are Responding to Staying Home

Isabel Eva Bohrer

“It’s easy to look around and see how the Covid-19 crisis has brought out the worst in some people,” reads the beginning of a recent Harvard Business Review analysis of the current global pandemic. “But such irresponsible behavior, I believe, is more the exception than the rule,” the author, Bill Taylor continues, arguing that “time and again, individuals and communities have demonstrated that the worst situations tend to bring out the best in people and the organizations to which they belong.”

The fashion and beauty industries are no omissions to this statement. Some fashion influencers have been singled out as ‘Covidiots,’ -a newly quarantine coined term (see definition in The Guardian here),- ruining the brand they have built on social media for so many years. Celebrity culture, too, has been burning because of Covid-19, as the New York Times reports.

But not everyone in the fashion, beauty, entertainment and media industries is doing things the wrong way. Quite the opposite; many individuals and organizations are taking the extra time at home to go the extra mile, and help others during these difficult times in the most creative, and digital, ways. 

At RGNN, we recently posted a question on our Instagram, asking our students what kind of content they want to see from us. Useful, entertaining and relatable content was the answer, be it the best TV shows to binge-watch, the most appetizing snacks to munch on, or all the #stayhome looks fellow students are sporting these days – we got so many of these we had to publish three parts!

Over the next days and weeks, we will continue to post content relevant to the quarantine – and what awaits afterwards. At the same time, we are inspired by others who have similarly gotten creative while confined at home. And because many of our students have asked me: What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you listening to? Here are my answers, partially to these questions, and to the on-going debate we, like many brands, are having at the RGNN virtual HQ: How can we best approach and connect with our audiences, followers and clients in a purposeful way, especially during times of crisis? And which fashion and beauty brands are doing a really good job at this right now?

  • Rose Inc.’s “Social Distancing Diaries.” Starting with Founder Rosie HW, Rose Inc. has been chronicling the ways in which members of the Rose Inc. team as well as models and other relevant figures in the beauty industry have been coping with social distancing. In the midst of the public health crisis, beauty may seem superfluous, but for many, Rosie HW hit the nail on the head by providing moments of brightness from the news cycle with her content. Most recently, Rose Inc. has also changed its Instagram bio slogan from “beauty from the insider out” to “beauty with substance.”
  • Fat Mascara’s Episode 200 (!) on the best bargain beauty products. I must congratulate my friend’s cousin, Jessica Matlin and her co-host, Jenn Goldstein, on the wonderful podcast they created. Fat Mascara conventionally specializes in interviews with beauty experts, and to create episode 200, Jess and Jenn sifted through all their past content to cover the best inexpensive beauty products out there, a great episode for quarantine and the accompanying economic crisis. I will be trying even more of Maybelline’s mascaras now because of you guys, thank you!
  • Who What Wear’s website content, and their #wwwwardrobechallenge. The WWW site is always bookmarked as one of my favorites, and their quarantine content has been spot on. Great articles include: the recap of the skincare products Emily Ratajkowski posted about on Instagram, the at-home hair removal guide, and yes, Deputy Editor Emma Spedding even makes you consider whether you should start a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller is also bookmarked on my browser. The normally humorous content has been switched up by a mix of fashion and crisis-related content. I’m following their #goingnowherebutfuckitimgettingdressed on Instagram, and reading stories such as these on ER doctors and whether we should still be shopping.
  • Glossier Live. Another great initiative to digitally build out beauty routines. The first 150 appointments booked out real fast, but let’s hope they open more slots soon! It’s more than plausible that other brands, both in fashion and beauty, will start adopting similar initiatives to connect 1-on-1 with clients. Great idea, Emily Weiss!
  • Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What has proven to use her power as an influencer to help others. The initiatives she has adopted to help New York are many, raising money to buy masks, including selling a coloring book whose proceeds will go to Food Bank for NYC, posting information about which companies are hiring and switching up her fashion-only content for useful IG videos on how to best deal with back and neck pain during quarantine.
  • Romee Strijd mentioned during her latest video that, during quarantine, she prefers scrolling through TikTok over Instagram; the perfect Instagram photo is less relevant these days because no one is able to go outside, and TikTok is more entertaining, the model affirms. Many fashion and beauty influencers have created TikTok accounts just because of quarantine, and Leonie Hanne is one of the influencers who is giving it a fashion spin, instead of the regular dance videos we have been seeing. She also did a great job on the #pillowchallenge, as did Larsen Thompson (I just wrapped up an exclusive interview with Larsen, stay tuned, it will be posted on RGNN soon!). She also just posted a photo with a leopard mask, who knows, perhaps Chanel and Hermès will be making luxury masks soon as the ultimate status symbol.
  • Last but not least, I have yet to complete a Revolve Live workout. It’s great that brands are not only doing these live, but also leaving them up on IG TV for you to complete whenever you want. My personal fave right now is The New York Times approved 7 minute workout (complete as many times as you can!), and all the videos Fitness Blender has been making available for free over the years, even before quarantine started.

Stay home, stay safe. Reflect. Rethink. And go offline every once in a while. Because when go back to normal, will you actually go back to normal? Or will you do something different?

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