Fashion has been abandoned

Portrait PF Le Louët (c)C Coenon

We are stunned at the decision to close non-essential businesses, and on Friday, as a collective we warned the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire about the disastrous consequences for our industry. 

In a letter signed by the Union Française des Industries de la Mode et de l’Habillement, the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin, the Fédération Française des Industries du Vêtement Masculin, and the Fédération des Industries Diverses de l’Habillement we underscored how much the fashion sector had suffered in 2020 from the health crisis and the various lockdowns, curfews, and shop closures. We cited the 15% drop in consumption and exports and all the repercussions that caused. And we are now assessing only the first effects in terms of lost labels and the weakening of our businesses. 

We had reason to be very hopeful after the French President’s first announcements on the emergency measures and recovery plan. But one year after this crisis began, it’s clear that the fashion sector, and for that matter other creative industry sectors, have been largely forgotten in the support programs. Despite our ongoing dialogue with public authorities and our repeated demands, we observe that there is no specific measure concerning fashion in the recovery plan. And worse, many departments are undergoing a third closure of businesses. 

Only the Minister of Culture, who is now working on an accelerated strategy for the cultural and creative industries, seems to grasp how serious the circumstances are. We know that if nothing is done in the next few days to address the situation’s gravity, and if urgency actions aren’t taken, then many businesses will no longer exist when normalcy returns. 

We understand that the government must enact an agenda of health restrictions; but we don’t understand the neglect of a strategic sector that contributes so much to the nation’s identity and economy. 

Pierre-François Le Louët, FFPAPF President