We'd been watching the news of the novel coronavirus as it burned its way through Wuhan, China. Feeling empathy for the victims of the disease, but also feeling as if it were not quite real as we enjoyed summer here in Cape Town. The sudden and extreme lockdown in Wuhan changed all that. The Chinese government's swift and decisive response made it clear that the situation was dire. Each day saw us checking the progress of the virus from afar.
We had committed to travel to Paris for the last week in February to show our latest collection EVOKE during Fashion Week and at that time there were very few infected in France. So, armed with hand sanitiser and masks we left for the the city of love.
The apartment was tres chic, as you'd expect! A beautiful courtyard entrance straight out of an art movie, and a tiny garret space with views over the Paris rooftops.
The showroom in Le Marais district was perfectly positioned, we met buyers, influencers and magazines from all over the world. Some days were icy cold, with the tiniest snowfall happening for a moment. In the evenings the streets were buzzing with Parisians and visitors enjoying cafe life, eating and walking tiny dogs.
Happy and very grateful for the opportunity, after a week of hard work, we were ready to come home - to the sunshine, friends and family.
As I write this, the world is in various stages of lockdown, Covid-19 has overwhelmed health systems world wide in hardly any time at all. The fear of the virus in many places is far less than the fear of starving. Economies have been devastated all over the world a very sudden shift has taken place causing us to re-assess our lives.
How can we do better? What will you do differently once life returns to normal?