800+ Businesses Seek Aid From CFDA/Vogue Coronavirus Fund, Dina Lohan Returns

by Charles Manning

Read today’s dose of chic intel right here…

A Common Thread Receives More Than 800 Applications for $4.1 Million Fund (New York Times)
The CFDA’s fund to help relieve some of the strain on American fashion companies during the coronavirus crisis received more than 800 applications for $4.1 million in grants between April 8 and 18. That money is earmarked for companies with revenue under $10 million and fewer than 30 employees. “We don’t pretend this is a bailout,” said Anna Wintour. “We see this as a grant that will bridge a very difficult time, something to keep the lights on. The goal is to give a little bit of money to as many as possible.”

Every bit of aid certainly helps, but the volume of applicants and even some of the applicants themselves, underscore just how serious is the threat faced by the American fashion industry. “What really struck me was the depth and severity of the current crisis, as reflected in the applicant pool,” said Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the CFDA. “There were businesses on it that are 30 years old, who have helped build the American fashion industry, but who have remained content, year in and year out, to operate locally, without the goal of being a global lifestyle brand.”


Steven Kolb (Patrick McMullan)

Consumer Spending on Fashion Drops 50 Percent (Fast Company)
“Sales plummeted by 8.7 percent, the largest-ever decrease on record, nearly triple the previous worst month on record in 2008,” writes Fast Company. “And clothing and accessory brands took the biggest hit, dropping by an astronomical 50.5 percent […] Consumers are actually spending more on essential goods: Grocery stores saw a 26.9 percent increase in spending and health stores saw a 4.3 percent increase. This is partly because these are the only brick-and-mortar stores that are allowed to remain open right now, but it is also because consumers are worried about spending money unnecessarily with a significant recession looming on the horizon. Across the board, sectors that rely on discretionary spending have seen declines.”

Dina Lohan to Launch Podcast (Page Six)
Lohan tells Page Six that she’s launching a new show, “Listen To Me, OG Mama D,” that will “touch on pop culture, domestic violence, mental health” and will “set the record straight about tabloid celebrity gossip.” According to Lohan, the show will be available on Spotify, iTunes, and iHeartRadio, although a representative from iHeartRadio said they were not aware of any such show or deal.

A Tsunami of Bankruptcies Is About to Wash Away America’s Retail Sector (Yahoo! Finance)
“Some companies are just not going to survive this,” Michael McGrail, COO of one of the world’s largest asset disposition and valuation firms, Tiger Capital Group, told Yahoo! Finance. According to Yahoo! “It will be McGrail’s team — which often includes store associates of a stricken retailer — that hangs the “Everything must go” signs and works to fetch top dollar on fixtures and other inventory […] Once formidable retailers will either vanish entirely or emerge from bankruptcy with 75 percent smaller store networks. Those retailers that somehow manage to avoid bankruptcy by way of a creative debt raise or other restructuring will find the road ahead bumpy at best.”

Barneys New York (Shutterstock)

Is It Time for Your Company to Pivot? (Fast Company)
“As business leaders grapple with the impact that COVID-19 and the current economic landscape will have for their companies, many are simultaneously playing offense and defense in a short, medium, and long game all at once. And because of this, many are considering a pivot as the best shot at success,” writes Fast Company. But there are a few things you need to do before you go changing your whole business. First and foremeost, you need to ask yourself “What are the biggest challenges my current customers are facing right now that we can solve?”

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