GQ India|July 2020
Against a backdrop of mounting death tolls, job losses, bankruptcies and probably suicides, images from the recent past such as that of a fully Fendi-ed Kim Kardashian West crouching near a pair of large LV-branded dustbins make Marie Antoinette’s likely apocryphal suggestion that starving peasants should eat cake seem like sound responsible dietary advice.
It is, of course, a question of timing and taste: What might be viewed as amusing/aspirational/ironic now seems crass. Covid-19 has been the wake-up call that has shaken us out of our somnambulist consumption, whether of luxury goods themselves or the attendant culture of ceaseless bombardment by social media influencers, red-carpet looks (the Cannes Film Festival and Met Gala are just two of the highest-profile event casualties) and private jet selfies. (Whereas the Wests’ followers once saw images of Kim and Kanye aboard a private 747, at the time of writing, her profile pledges a donation of $1 million “to those affected by Covid-19”.) In the weeks immediately after the realisation this was an unprecedented global crisis, luxury goods companies and fashion houses rushed to turn their fragrance production facilities over to the manufacture of hand sanitiser, started making protective clothing and announced significant financial donations. Now, as health professionals risk and sacrifice their lives and industries across the spectrum repurpose, it is time for humanity to come together.
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