The coronavirus pandemic has left no sector untouched. For one, the fashion industry has seen an unprecedented collapse as clothing brands—from the legendary Italian luxury fashion houses to retail chains—boarding up their stores and filing for bankruptcy. Chuks Collins collection.
“I think about clothing as an essential part of existence”
~ Chuk Collins
When we look back on this unfortunate blip in world history, however, we’ll also see brands that evolved and pivoted to survive, at the other end of the spectrum. It takes more than just skill and creativity for brands to weather the COVID-19 crises: it also takes an overwhelming amount of community and government support, with some states helping brands out. Chuks Collins collection.
Small businesses, corporations, and LLCs in New York are especially lucky as they’re eligible for multiple tax and business incentives which help ease the economic burden. Additionally, the state government has always prioritized providing financial support, even before the pandemic; these programs aim to encourage business growth in the state.
A stellar combination of good business sense, creative thinking, and community and state support could make all the difference between success and failure, both in the present and post-pandemic. And this sweet spot is exactly where New York-based designer Chuks Collins finds himself.
The Nigerian native, now 31, started his formal wear company Chuks Collins in 2015. However, with increasingly more people working from home, he recognized the challenge his fashion line faced. Companies were starting to migrate to virtual workspaces, following the pandemic’s distancing and health measures.
“I was thinking about how to bring more change and bring clothes down to where the person is,” he explained, speaking to the Bronx Times. “I said I’m going to create this lifestyle brand that accommodates every aspect of you.”
This determination and tenacity led him to create an eco-friendly collection called The Athletic Side of Us (TASOU), set to launch on January 21. TASOU includes dresses, shirts, and sweatshirts, all crafted with comfort and versatility for moments of Zoom calls, social distancing, and lounging at home. Chuks Collins collection.
The collection is also heavily influenced by the bygone Kingdom of Benin, a region in today’s Southern Nigeria, whose artists were well known for their work in architecture, featuring mathematical, geometric shapes. Inspired by this ethnic past, Collins’ latest line TASOU pays homage to the lost era. “I think about clothing as an essential part of existence,” he stated. “I saw this as an art project. I feel like this is going to be a movement for people in clothing.”
Artfully and tastefully done, TASOU is also consistent with Collins’ sustainable fashion practices. The line consists only of materials that have been sourced sustainably or made from recycled materials.
When asked about his future plans, Chuks Collins says that he envisions to continue making athletic streetwear even after the pandemic ends. This is nothing short of good news for streetwear and athleisure fans worldwide, as he continues to cater to clients in major fashion hubs London, the U.S., and Milan.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled so much of the world’s activities, it’s unable to extinguish Collins’ deep love for fashion, style, and art.
Now that the fashion world is facing an unexpected renaissance, it’s something you need to stay on top of. Read on to find out more about our Featured Designers!
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