Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid-19 - how it would impact apparels ? - know what is 'Trikni' !


Bikini Atoll  is a coral reef in the Marshall Islands consisting of 23 islands surrounding a 229.4-square-mile central lagoon.   The island's English name is derived from the German colonial name Bikini given to the atoll when it was part of German New Guinea. The German name is transliterated from the Marshallese name for the island, Pikinni, "Pik" meaning "surface" and "Ni" meaning "coconut", or surface of coconuts. The atoll's inhabitants were relocated in 1946, after which the islands and lagoon were the site of 23 nuclear tests by the United States until 1958.  Three families were resettled on Bikini island in 1970, totaling about 100 residents. But scientists found dangerously high levels of strontium-90 in well water in May 1977, and the residents were carrying abnormally high concentrations of cesium-137 in their bodies. They were evacuated in 1980.

In Economics, the  law of supply and demand  explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource. The theory defines what effect the relationship between the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on its price. Generally, low supply and high demand increase price and vice versa. After lockdown and shops remaining closed, one day – things would limp back to normalcy – people would perhaps start spending again – but would garments continue to be the most sought after, and what would be the price of garments.  Will they go up because costs have been pushed or would they come down as the demand would be less ? – heard of ‘Trikni’ – heard of them, or already have some stocked already ?

The coronavirus-induced lockdown in Punjab is now forcing more and more farmers to shift away from cultivating water-guzzling and labour-intensive paddy to the highly-profitable but ‘high maintenance’ cotton in this kharif season.  The Punjab government has been encouraging farmers for the last several years to switch from paddy to cotton and its efforts have finally started showing results now. Cotton has been grown for food, fiber, and even fuel for over 6,000 years. You can find cotton in your clothes, sheets, and towels, but cotton is also used to make things like rope, U.S. currency, paper, cooking oil, animal feed, packaging, and biofuels. The benefits and versatility of cotton are numerous.

For fashion retailers, one of the lingering and most damaging effects of the 2008 recession was a dependence on discounts. After their sales tanked, companies leaned on promotions to clear out all the inventory sitting unsold and to get shoppers buying again. The problem, however, was that customers came to expect discounts and even years later hesitated to buy clothes at full price.

There are realistic fears that apparels would no longer be in the ‘most wanted’ list of consumers locked indoors by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Right now, there are no online sales too, so once shops and malls open, would people rush to buy clothes in the manner and quantities that they had all along been doing and if such sales were not to happen what would be the impact on malls that houses high % of apparel galleries.  “Sales are zero now. Even when the partial opening will start, apparel won't be the first category to be on the shopping list,” – analysts apprehend.  The Indian apparel industry clocking a sales turnover of USD 74 bn might just take a hit of 10-15% in 2020, it is stated;  that 15% appears to be too moderate. Post COVID-19 crisis, consumers will be uncomfortable to touch and feel garments in retail stores anxious about who would have touched it before them, says Spanish sustainable textile technology provider.   This is no post on  Economics or Sales  but on ‘trikni’.

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.  A bikini is typically a women's two-piece swimsuit featuring two triangles of fabric on top, and two triangles of fabric on the bottom. Due to its controversial and revealing design, the bikini was accepted very slowly by the public. The swimsuit gained increased exposure and acceptance as film stars like Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, and Ursula Andress wore them and were photographed on public beaches and seen in film. In many countries the design was banned from beaches and other public places.

Bikni is a big fashionwear-  and now comes ‘Trikini’ - a bikini with matching face mask - proves a hit after designers create it for a joke during lockdown.  Tiziana Scaramuzzo is the owner of Elexa Beachwear in Senigallia, central Italy.  After lockdown she and her family thought of an idea to lift their mood. Her daughters posed in the Trikini on Facebook and the trend soon went viral

Tiziana Scaramuzzo, the owner of Elexa Beachwear in Senigallia, central Italy, began producing the pandemic-proof beachwear to keep spirits up at home after the government announced a restriction on movement due to the coronavirus outbreak. Scaramuzzo's suppliers told her they would be closing in spring, which led to her being unable to produce bikinis for peak season. This hit the business hard, she told Italian website centropagina.  The idea of the Trikini was a joke, Scaramuzzo said, designed to lift the family's spirits after the coronavirus pandemic led to their factory to being shut down. Despite the challenges, she began joking with her family about making masks with designs on them - to raise the mood at home.   After posting images of her daughters wearing the creations on Facebook, the Trikini went viral and Scaramuzzo now has requests flooding in to the store.

The release of the safety-focussed beachwear comes at a perfect time for the country after Italy began to ease its lockdown rules last week. In the country, which was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe, from this weekend showed masses of people flocking to parks and beaches after being stuck inside during a harsh two-month lockdown. Health and government authorities are concerned that partial easing earlier in the week of some lockdown measures, such as reopening of public parks and gardens, could see a rise in cases if people ignore social distancing rules.   

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15.5.2020.

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