“When the pandemic hit, my first thought was, I’m in trouble
. I had $250,000 worth of inventory that nobody wanted,” says Sabrina Zohar, the founder of softwear
, a Brooklyn-based brand of sustainable loungewear
. “I had a genuine fear that we were going to close our doors and liquidate.” She was hardly the only fashion business thinking that. When COVID-19 took hold and ushered everyone indoors, the future of fashion looked bleak. Like softwear, many brands were left with products that no one was buying, with consumers uncertain about what’s next; stores were canceling orders from brands; and even beloved labels
began shutting doors. Months later, the industry is still recovering from the fallout, with many hoping to make enough to cover expenses — forget about turning a profit — this year. Yet through ingenuity and strategic style pivots, some fashion brands have found success despite it all.