Designers brace for slower sales in new lockdown

PETALING JAYA: Fashion designers in the country who are preparing for difficult times acknowledge that it is a matter of public health.

“Of course it will be tough, ” said Melinda Looi, president of the Malaysian Official Designers Association (MODA).

“But this is for everyone’s safety, so it is best we obey, ” she said in reference to rules under the latest movement control order.

Looi, who launched a campaign last month with fellow designer Tom Abang Saufi to provide baju raya for children in poverty, said production is not affected.

The worry, however, is declining walk-in sales.

Vincent Siow, who runs a boutique offering custom tailored menswear, found it hard to maintain physical distancing with clients.

“I’ve tried Zoom call measurement, where someone takes their own measurements with my guidance.

“I’ve also explored 3D scanning technology but I feel it’s not accurate, ” he said.

Fashion outlets are allowed to open under the current lockdown but Siow is afraid of incurring a fine, especially if his customers are also handed hefty summonses.

Another issue is that people would once again stop buying clothes.“The problem with a lockdown is nobody needs a suit – or clothes in general, apart from casual homewear, ” Siow added.

The bulk of his orders are designs more suited to a corporate lifestyle.

As for designer Rico Rinaldi, he said compared to last year, this current MCO happened closer to Hari Raya Aidilfitri when he was already done with production.

Yesterday was the last day for customer deliveries.

Orders for Hari Raya usually open months ahead, especially when it comes to custom designs. Hence, most designers would have already fulfilled orders for the occasion.

“For the 3.0 lockdown, at least it’s not as tight as the first one in 2020. We can still run our business.

“I think this third MCO will not affect designers as much as the first two, ” Rico said.

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fashion , Malaysian designers , MCO , Covid-19


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