This post was written in September 2020 *Watch the youtube video that goes with the post. Thank you

Some of the most famous luxury brand stores in the world are located on Fifth Avenue, and they have opened their doors once again after temporarily shutting down for more than three months due to the Pandemic.

It has been one month since some of the stores reopened, and everyone wants to know what is happening with the high-end brands and their luxury stores on Fifth Avenue in the Big Apple. Fifth Avenue was always crowded with tourists and shoppers before COVID19 arrived, but how does it look now? 

Keep reading to find out and watch the video that shows the situation now.

Customers and employees are required to wear a facemask or some other type of face-covering at every Fifth Avenue business. Stores are limited to 50 percent capacity and must install social distancing reminders if they want to keep their doors open.

Every week the situation changes; now, we see probably 20 to 30% of people visiting the stores than what was expected before the lockdown, but more and more people are coming back to the streets and shopping as nothing happened.

We are starting our journey on 58th street at the extremely high-end department store for only LUXURY BRANDS and probably any designer's dream to sell their clothes at Bergdorf Goodman.

Bergdorf is part of Neiman Marcus, and the situation for Neiman Marcus was pretty bad before the pandemic. Neiman Marcus has a $4.7 billion debt, which probably wasn't alleviated during this time. When the virus struck, Bergdorf Goodman declared bankruptcy and furloughed 14,000 employees. I wondered if we can see their financial situation directly or if customers can shop and still be unaware of their reality. So I decided to enter the store and analyze the situation.

Inside the store, everyone was wearing masks and keeping the social distance rule. They have various signs announcing that they want to offer the best possible service, but clearly, we all need to wear masks and use hand sanitizer. The good thing is that they have bottles of sanitizer on each shelf and individual sanitizer stations around the store. Almost all mannequins have tapes or signs reminding people to keep the 6-ft rule. Still, generally, we can tell you that Bergdorf is doing everything right, and they are following all the necessary regulations to keep their business open.

On the other hand, not all stores are being visited or have opened successfully like Bergdorf.

Many luxury stores are not doing well, and many have decided to close their doors indefinitely. Sadly COVID19 has impacted these luxury stores that are not as popular as LV, Gucci, or Dior. And the stores that have reopened are trying to follow the social distancing rules and the mask regulations as best they can.

I'm sure all Millennials and Gen Z people want to know about stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, they are some of our favorites, and I wanted to see what they are doing for this reopening. 

At Louis Vuitton's store, we can see how the brand keeps its fame even now. Virgil Abloh (creative director) showed the new SS 21 men's collection and the FW20 campaign. The collection and clothing were great, but the art direction is even better. This store is close to Central Park and close to one of the park's main entrances, helping to maintain a good flow of people. Those who want to shop need an appointment and wait in line if they're going to enter - something that was not as common as before, and yet as this brand has an excellent online presence and everyone loves Virgil Abloh, people still come here. Some people believe that owning LV gives a certain level of status, but to me it's surprising to see how many people want to go to the store and buy something. 

Another favorite brand is Gucci; recently, Alessandro Michele presented the Resort 2021 collection with the iconic layers and vintage style that has been so representative of this brand, especially under Michele's direction. This store has a good flow of people, but we have found out that the fewer people we see, the further away from the stores are from Central Park. Everyone is visiting local parks, enjoying their time in nature since it's probably the safest activity (You need fresh air and sun, trust me). However, even though Gucci is not that close to Central Park, this fashion house is still iconic, and people want to see what they are doing for this season.

Dolce & Gabbana is the only store so far that we have seen that they have masks on the windows on display, but we know that D&G does not have a good reputation at the moment. Nevertheless, it is a very well known luxury brand, and we can see what they are offering the masks and adapting to supply the new demand for face covers.

I know that the fashion industry has been impacted severely by the pandemic and the lockdown. I wasn't expecting to see that many people shopping at these high-end stores, which reminded me of the importance of a good online presence and the selling of the "ideal life." As a small fashion brand owner and designer, I am perplexed and hope we can expand the sustainable fashion shopping patterns, support more local businesses, and be less materialistic. 

Thanks for reading, and remember that these stores' financial and popularity situation frequently change during these strange times that are opening up everyone's eyes.

Stay positive!

Lina M Mayorga

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