During this time of uncertainty many wonder about the future of the men’s fashion industry and how will the Middle East cope after the crisis. We conducted an exclusive one-on-one with Founder and Creative Director of BEHNOODE; Mr. Behnood Javaherpoor to get his insights and predictions regarding this matter.

Q: Designers using this opportunity to adapt and pivot to the changing demands of the society
A: I feel it’s an excellent opportunity for the fashion fraternity to unite during this challenging time. We can all do our part to make a change. Fashion is the reflection of the society and during these strange and challenging times, the fashion industry can help reshape our world for the better. As you are aware, during this global health threat, I have initiated an online relief campaign to further help fashion industry professionals and workers who directly or indirectly got affected by this crisis. By doing this little initiative, I am able to raise awareness about the issue, start talks and discussion amongst my fashion colleagues and come up with a concrete solution to extend our help during this time of need.

Q:The future of men’s fashion in the Middle East – post-COVID-19
A: After this crisis is over, I believe that men’s fashion will become more stylish after spending several months indoors in lounge wear. I believe men clothing will be very expressive in colours and silhouettes, it is a statement that ‘they need be seen and heard’ – by being loud, proud and confident.

Q: How does the Middle East fashion industry cope after a crisis?
A: The Middle East fashion industry will definitely come back stronger as fashion is a huge part of the culture in this region. It is a way of life in this part of the world and there is no denying that fashion will rise again after the crisis.

Q: The challenging part of this experience so far?
A: Hearing the stories of those affected by this crisis and this is why I want to help as many people as possible, especially our colleagues in the fashion industry. They are the ones who are truly affected – those people working behind the scenes – tailors, beaders, cutters, sales assistants, retailers – I hope to give some help to them through my new online initiative and encourage more fashion labels to do the same.

Q: What are the significant changes you think will happen in the fashion industry?
A: Online fashion will dominate the industry as social distancing continues until life returns back to normal. Fashion is essential as it’s a form of expression, inspiration and guidance on style. The use of technology will be essential bouncing back from this crisis, people will still be looking for new trends, new looks and new inspirations for their new lifestyle and fashion is there to make it into reality.

Q: Business challenges
A: I believe we are going through it right now as the retail landscape has changed so drastically. We just need to adapt with the changing economy and behaviour of the public and from there, we will be able to address the issues and create solutions for each of them. I strongly believe that the business of fashion will never go out of style.

Q: Hopes after the crisis
A:
I am very much looking forward to the recovery period with a lot of optimism. It definitely will take time for people to gain confidence going out but with all collected efforts and resiliency from the government to businesses to people, we can get through this on the other side, stronger than ever.

From BEHNOODE’s SS20 Collection: