Fashion designer Tadashi Shoji says e-commerce saved his brand during pandemic

FILE PHOTO: Designer Tadashi Shoji speaks during an interview before the showing of his collection during New York Fashion Week in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - After closing all his stores, veteran fashion designer Tadashi Shoji said he has been able to keep his business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the success of e-commerce and custom sales.

The Los Angeles, California-based brand released its digital runway show online on Saturday during New York Fashion Week.

Keeping costs low, the video was filmed in the company's cafeteria with creative lighting and editing.

"Logistically it's very hard, but it's very fortunate for us because of COVID our e-com is increasing tremendously. That's helping me to survive in this COVID time," Shoji said.

"If we didn't have this strong e-com infrastructure for us I think, I think our business went down," he said.

Shoji said this season was inspired by "boundless expression" and has added different silhouettes to his normal body-con repertoire.

Menswear was the inspiration for many looks with stretch velvet, shimmer and slits providing femininity.

The designer's signature draped tulle, lace and hand beading made the collection look familiar to his long-time fans.

New York Fashion Week will end on Feb. 16 with over 150 designers having presented their collections live or online.

(Reporting by Alicia Powell; editing by Diane Craft)

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