California artists try to adapt to new world wrought by pandemic

Emilee Geist

CBS News is chronicling what has changed for the lives of Americans in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced California small business owner Stephanie Mufson to make dramatic changes to survive. In July, she told CBS News she wasn’t sure if her company Parade Guys, which builds floats and large displays for outdoor festivals would make it. 

Mufson, an independent artist, typically works with a team of contractors who are experts at painting, sculpting, and building floats for outdoor festivals and parades in the San Francisco Bay Area.

But in the last six months, festivals like the San Francisco Pride Parade and Fourth of July celebrations did not take place in person, resulting in economic hardship for the independent contractors who rely on those outdoor festivals for work. 

“It is not the same world that I spent most of my life basing my career around,” Mufson

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Egypt tries plasma treatment to fight pandemic

Emilee Geist

Mohamed Fathi, an Egyptian man who has recovered from Covid-19, winced as he watched tubes running down his arm to donate blood plasma, but insisted: “if I can help just one person, that’s a very good thing”.

The 25-year-old land surveyor from Cairo caught the disease in May, on the eve of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival, becoming one of the almost 100,000 reported cases in Egypt, where more than 5,000 people have died of the novel coronavirus.

“Losing the sense of taste was a terrible experience,” he told AFP at Egypt’s National Blood Transfusion headquarters in Cairo, describing just one of his symptoms. “You feel like you’re eating for the sake of it.”

Things got worse for the family when his elderly father was also infected, making Egypt’s blistering hot summer months a hellish period of fretting over his recovery from a loud, dry cough and constant fevers.

“I

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The pandemic is changing the future of fashion and shopping. Why that’s a good thing

Emilee Geist

 <span class="copyright">(Lucila Perini / For The Times)</span>
(Lucila Perini / For The Times)

Given the chaos and uncertainty wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to pin down the top fashion and beauty trends of a year hence feels as futile as trying to pick a living room wallpaper pattern while your house is on fire. But we tried anyway by surveying a range of L.A.-based designers, brand builders and retailers to find out what the luxury landscape might look like 12 to 18 months down the road.

The general consensus? Although no one — not even the trend analysts who make their living forecasting such things — is exactly sure what the future of fashion looks like, what they agreed on is that, because of the pandemic, the future of retail and design is actually arriving way ahead of schedule, with back-burner projects front-burnered and fashion’s never-ending hamster wheel getting a good, hard look.

“We had trends

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The pandemic is revolutionizing fashion and shopping. Why that’s a good thing

Emilee Geist

 <span class="copyright">(Lucila Perini / For The Times)</span>
(Lucila Perini / For The Times)

Given the chaos and uncertainty wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to pin down the top fashion and beauty trends of a year hence feels as futile as trying to pick a living room wallpaper pattern while your house is on fire. But we tried anyway by surveying a range of L.A.-based designers, brand builders and retailers to find out what the luxury landscape might look like 12 to 18 months down the road.

The general consensus? Although no one — not even the trend analysts who make their living forecasting such things — is exactly sure what the future of fashion looks like, what they agreed on is that, because of the pandemic, the future of retail and design is actually arriving way ahead of schedule, with back-burner projects front-burnered and fashion’s never-ending hamster wheel getting a good, hard look.

“We had trends

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Dog days of the pandemic create a thriving economy for man’s best friend

Emilee Geist

As much as humans might hate the COVID-19 pandemic, an alternate viewpoint may be gaining ground among other family members living in the same house.

Consider the outlook of a dog:  

This year might even be the best ever for canine companionship. More dogs are finding homes. Fewer are left at shelters. The dog economy is booming, especially for a product that sums up the whole story.

Dog diapers.

Sales have increased to $24 million for the 24 weeks ending Aug. 15, up 202% from the same period last year, according to Nielsen research.

“There were more people

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Colleges navigate the uncertain world of a pandemic, as students and faculty fear for their safety

Emilee Geist

The University of Notre Dame had a plan it thought would allow it to safely welcome students back to campus during the pandemic. But then everything went south; tests were nowhere near as available as planned, and the positivity rate climbed as the first week of classes, starting Aug. 10, continued. With the weekend came what public health officials warned about: parties. Reports cited at least two off-campus gatherings held over the weekend as the source of 80 new confirmed cases. The university promptly switched to remote learning for the next two weeks, letting students remain on campus as the administration figures out what to do next. How many other universities will go the way of Notre Dame?

Universities have suffered staggering losses in revenue due to the pandemic, and they know that bringing students back would at least help alleviate the financial pressure. But many are struggling with how

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EBay Modernizes Platform, Sees Major Uptick in Sales During Pandemic

Emilee Geist

Brands and retailers have swiftly amped up the online shopping experience to meet consumers’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic — and now, e-commerce is primed to enter the next frontier. But for older e-commerce brands, such as eBay, that means modernization of its platform and reevaluation of an evolving and growing customer base.

Here, Bradford Shellhammer, eBay’s global head of buyer experience, talks to WWD about modernizing eBay’s platform, consumer evolution and how the brand grew during the coronavirus pandemic.

WWD: In your opinion, what is eBay’s sudden spike in buyers attributed to? Why has the secondhand market accelerated during COVID-19?

Bradford Shellhammer: Online shopping has seen exponential growth through 2020 as households have adjusted to new ways of shopping due to COVID-19. Data shows that e-commerce sales hit a July record of $66.3 billion, which is up 55 percent year-over-year. In April and May alone, we saw approximately 6

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12 fun kids’ face masks for the COVID-19 pandemic

Emilee Geist

 <span class="copyright">(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)</span>
(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

With in-person school just starting for many children, face masks have become the new backpacks in terms of being necessities for at least 2020 and 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 2 and older “wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your household.”

As the world adjusts to life in the age of COVID-19, it’s safe to say many parents are probably adding fashionable face masks to their children’s back-to-school shopping lists. Although students in Los Angeles may be confined to online learning, kids in other states are returning to the classroom, for which the CDC also states, “Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings is most important when students, teachers and staff are indoors and when social distancing of at least 6 feet is difficult to implement or maintain.”

We’ve rounded up

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How entrepreneurs are trying to weather the coronavirus pandemic

Emilee Geist

Eric Wei, a former product manager at Instagram, used to see Will Kim every day, almost all day.

Wei and Kim, a former venture capitalist, started working together in San Francisco in July 2019 to start Karat, a credit card company for digital creators and influencers. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“We know each other really well, but it was hard not seeing each other in months while trying to build a company,” said Wei, whose asthma has meant he’s taken extra precautions to avoid the virus.

The duo were able to launch Karat in June, but as social distancing guidelines remain, Wei and Kim will be forced to scale up their business remotely. They’re trying to see the upsides, such as embracing remote work, which will let them expand their pool of possible employees while limiting office costs.

Startups are known for needing to expect the unexpected and shift

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Diane Sullivan, Blake Krueger and Joey Zwillinger Reveal the Challenges of Leading During a Pandemic

Emilee Geist

FN’s first virtual summit, “The Way Ahead,” kicked off this afternoon with a candid conversation between four key footwear industry leaders, who talked about how they and their companies have responded to monumental challenges this year.

The panel included Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman of Caleres; Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger; and Blake Krueger, chairman, president and CEO of Wolverine World Wide Inc., in conversation with FN editorial director Michael Atmore. Sponsored by Klarna, the two-day summit is being held in partnership with FFANY, FDRA and Two Ten.

More from Footwear News

The panel talk, titled “Lessons in Leadership,” kicked off with insights about the way each executive has adjusted their leadership style during the pandemic. All agreed that communication has been more vital than ever, particularly at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, when uncertainty was at its height.

Sullivan recalled that she responded to the moment

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