We can be part of the solution.
Fashion designer Romana Zöchling with her Ferrari Zöchling label talks about the challenges of the corona crisis and on solidarity in the fashion scene.
Did you have to close or restrict your operations and what impact did this have?
My shop in Kirchengasse has been closed for a month now, in other words since mid-March. Emotions like fear, insecurity and nervousness were initially very strong. My husbadnd and I quickly tried to find solutions and ideas as to how we can make it through the challenges of the crisis together.
What does this mean for your sector?
Shortly after the measures for containing the coronavirus were announced, dressmakers, fashion designers and seamstresses put out calls on various social media platforms to exchange views on the topic of face masks. Many exchanged pattern solutions, proposals for materials and processing techniques. International dialogue took place among textile workers to find large-scale solutions and to launch production of protective clothing (PPE) quickly on a regional basis and in a way that is sustainable. Within a few days, the dressmakers guild in Vienna also came together to work on concepts.
The entire community demonstrated focused concentration; the professional group as a whole was reinforced by the knowledge that if we react quickly now, our trade and expertise can help us become a small part of the solution to the problem. We are now in the process of expanding our online shop and creating products where there could be strong demand, particularly in times of crisis. Besides masks, these could include homeware, among other things.
Can you also take some positive aspects from the crisis? Have you learnt something from the lockdown?
My husband Tobias and I are forging an even stronger relationship, especially in times of crisis, and are very happy to have each other and our flexible jobs. We are much more appreciative of what we have! That the internet allows us to continue to maintain social contact, sometimes even more than before, gives us hope, although contact is very different than before.
What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs on how to deal with the crisis?
This is a difficult question, as it is such an individual matter... I would maybe suggest to increasingly exchange views with other businesses and colleagues, develop ideas together and hold together.
Ferrari Zöchling launches two collections every year in collaboration with different artists. We also make tailormade outfits for artists, musicians, performance and film.
Status: May 2020