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Freelancers in fashion during coronavirus crisis: Hair and Makeup Artist

By Ole Spötter


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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people in the fashion industry are currently unable to carry out their usual work. Freelancers are also particularly affected.

FashionUnited has asked several of them - from a safe distance, of course - what the current situation looks like for them and how they deal with it. After the set, styling and model have already been set up, the brushes are being swung today - it's off to Sanne Schoofs for make-up.

editorial for Bad to the Bone Magazine. Photo by Petrovsky & Ramone, Hair styling by Sanne Schoofs

The hair and make-up artist has been working as a freelancer for twelve years. Schoofs works for fashion magazines such as Kaltblut or Enfnts Terribles, has already made up techno star Charlotte de Witte for the cover of the music magazine Mixmag and makes her own headgear for artistic projects. In addition, there are occasional advertising campaigns. As an independent artist she is not represented by an agency.

During the lockdown, Schoofs spends most of her time with her family in her hometown of Brussels. If she does not keep her children happy, she hides in her studio. What she does there, she told us in an interview.

Editorial for Schön! magazines. Photo by Annabelle Foucher, Hair styling by Sanne Schoofs

What is the current coronavirus situation like for you?

Since lockdown, all shootings have been canceled: So there are no jobs at the moment. Fortunately, my husband is still working.

I have two daughters, 8 and 10 years old. I spend a lot of time with them right now and I really enjoy it. The lack of stress at school and at work gives me the opportunity to make more of the day and use it more actively.

However, I am also aware of what the situation is like for people in the health sector or in the food industry. Among them are parents who cannot offer their children this time. It must be difficult and stressful at the same time. We are fortunate that no one in our country is ill and the coronavirus therefore still seems "far away".

image: Mask in progress (right) for Iris van Wees collection (left, photo by Darren Smith)

What does your everyday life look like right now?

As in my "normal" life, I do not want to plan my days and weeks too tightly: I see what each day brings.

In this situation, every shopping trip becomes a full-day excursion. I also have my children and a household that keeps me busy every day. I would like to have more time to spend in my studio.

I like designing masks: during a shooting I create them directly on the model's face. When I am alone, I design them from my mind and hope to use them for a production one day. Right at the beginning of the lockdown I started working on a mask, but the process is rather slow.

Im Atelier

How busy are you with the future right now?

My feeling is quite positive despite these circumstances - I am aware that I am very lucky: I have my house, a garden and my family is in good health. This situation varies greatly from person to person and situation to situation.

Are you aware of any help measures for freelancers in the current economic situation? Do you feel well informed or rather a little helpless?

I am not a person who is quick to worry about job losses. In our sector you never have the certainty of having a job, and for me it has always been positive so far. I've been a freelancer for twelve years - but, I agree that this time is different. It will be a long time before the shootings can be organised as before.

Fortunately, there is a financial support from the government and it is not complicated to apply for it. Of course it doesn't cover the normal income, but it's better than getting nothing.

What is your current favorite distraction?

In this weather, sometimes it feels like a holiday: I do homework with the kids and keep them busy. At the same time, I try to be creative in the studio and prepare upcoming productions - that's what my days off look like the rest of the year.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.DE, translated and edited to English.

Photos: Sanne Schoofs

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