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Freelancers in fashion during coronavirus crisis: The stylist

By Ole Spötter


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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people are out of a job. The fashion industry is no exception: stationery retailers and sometimes even warehouses are locked down, as at the Italian online fashion retailer Yoox; fashion productions are reduced to a minimum and one event after another is cancelled, including the upcoming Men's Fashion Weeks in Milan and Paris.

What do photographers, models, stylists and make-up artists do without photo shoots or runway shows? To complicate matters further, many of them are freelancers who don't have a company behind them and have to cope with the consequences on their own. Therefore FashionUnited has asked several freelancers - of course from a safe distance - how the current situation is for them and how they deal with it.

In this series, we will be portraying several of these individual entrepreneurs from different areas of the fashion industry.

Yannic Hohaus from Düsseldorf, a 24-year-old stylist, works with clients like the fashion company Esprit or the magazines Elle and Nylon. Due to the lockdown he has had to become creative in a different way.

Picture: Behind the scenes - designer samples in the selection

How is the current coronavirus situation for you?

Unusual, I am now spending the second week in my apartment. In view of the current situation, not only are jobs missing, but meeting family and friends is no longer imaginable. I am not used to having so much time.

What does your everyday life look like right now?

The situation forces me, like many others, to spend most of the time alone at home. I try to maintain a certain routine and use the time to deal with things for which I otherwise find little time: versatile cooking, the usual household chores or even spending the odd day or two in a bathrobe until noon.

I am in regular contact with friends and relatives through video calls. From time to time I make a little detour along the Rhine on my way back from the necessary trip to the supermarket.

pictures: Hohaus work in front of the Coronavirus

How busy are you with the future right now?

More than ever before: I ask myself how long this situation will last, whether there will be further restrictions and how the loss of orders or work, over a longer period of time, will affect my financial situation and that of those around me - the uncertainty concerns me.

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

Thanks to my agency 21Agency and the cohesion of the freelancers, I feel well informed. Freelancers, regardless of their profession, inform each other in WhatsApp groups and on social networks about current funding opportunities.

For example, I learned about the 'NRW-Soforthilfe 2020'. This is an immediate aid of 9,000 euros, which can be applied for by self-employed persons and those entitled to apply for aid with up to five employees using a form. The prerequisite for this is that in the month in which the application is submitted, there must be a drop in turnover or fees of at least 50 percent. To determine this, an average value of the monthly turnover of the last three months is compared with the same period of the previous year.

What is your current favorite distraction?

My favorite distraction is artistic: I continue to work on ideas for future shootings. I also experimented last week with building foam, plasticine and other materials that I found at home here. Maybe I can use the results for a styling when all this comes to an end.

pictures: Creative work in lockdown

To find out more about the impacts of Covid-19 linked to the fashion sector, visit our dedicated page.
To read more of this series click here >>

To read more of this series click here >>

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

Images: Yannic Hohaus

Yannic Hohaus