Levi Strauss sales are down 62%, according to The Economist. Watch out, New York runways. The flannel phalanx of baggy couture is coming.

How do we know this? We sat down with a leading fashion house in New York City and another in Paris (airline tickets being uber cheap these days. So nice to stretch out, walk around, sit wherever you want) and asked them about their level of preparedness to deal with the Covid-induced shifting of fashion preferences.

* * *

TFF: We were watching online commencement speeches, and we’ve seen a growing number of people from high academia wearing pleated flannel pants, blazers made from sweatpants material, and ties that are multi-purpose and doubling as a windbreaker, or tripling as a personal hazmat tent, should too many people gather on stage at one time, or quadrupling as a Self-Contained on-Land Breathing Apparatus (SCOLBA).

NYC Fashion House: Do you have a question?

TFF: It seems these trends of people of influence moving away from high fashion and toward low fashion, but flaunted in a respectable way, could spell doom for your haute couture business line. What say you?

NYC Fashion House: We believe a PhD wearing a flannel and sweatpants material outfit, as you say, is a symptom of the disease, not a defense against it. We believe that once a suitable vaccine is discovered, those society members who wore our line will recover their senses and wear our line.

TFF: But what if their fashion choices today are not symptoms of Covid-19? What if this is a permanent shift in preferences?

NYC Fashion House: Not possible.

TFF: Why not?

NYC Fashion House: [hushed voice] Because we’re not ready to admit you can buy last year’s line by visiting two or three Goodwill stores.

TFF: That brings up an interesting point about the true value of your goods. I think we— Say, what are you doing with that torch?

NYC Fashion House: This? It’s nothing. Just a new cigarette lighter.

TFF: Seems like overkill.

NYC Fashion House: You want the clothing to go up instantly and quickly spread to the building’s structure.

TFF: By “clothing” and “building,” we assume this is a metaphor for your cigarette, and not an actual arson plan to burn down Goodwill stores that may be proving the real value of your clothing?

NYC Fashion House: Yeah, metaphor. Let’s go with that.

* * *

TFF: With so many working from home these days, we noticed, based on an extensive review of YouTube videos, people are more concerned with comfort than with showing off the curves of their glutes and the tone of their quads. You market skin-tight jeans to millennials and wannabe millennials in their 30s and 40s. What do you think this means for the long-term viability of your product line?

Paris Fashion House: Rather than look at this as a blow to our bottom line, we see this as an opportunity.

TFF: How so?

Paris Fashion House: Right now, yes, people are lounging in pajama pants. They’re reclining in breakaways. They’re lying around in zip-ups. But this will not last. Like all humans, they desire to be noticed. They desire to be different. If everyone around is enmeshed in a state of low-thread-count, fuzzy relaxation, this will become the new baseline, meaning no one will be able to call him or herself elite—unless.

TFF: Unless?

Paris Fashion House: Unless they buy our skin-tight jeans. Our marketing campaigns will prove our jeans’ ability to, by the very nature of their compression of skin and restriction of blood flow, raise one to a position of social superiority.

TFF: Just by wearing the jeans.

Paris Fashion House: Well, not just wearing the jeans. There’s also the $5,000 price tag per.

TFF: Per what? Pair?

Paris Fashion House: Yes.

TFF: That seems excessive. It seems like your goal is to use the price of your jeans alone as an indicator of their value and ability to raise one’s social status. Will a former-flannel-wearer-turned-fashionista really get 1,000 times more utility from your jeans than, say, a pair they bought from Goodwill?

Paris Fashion House: DO NOT SPEAK THE NAME OF EVIL!!!

* * *

Responding to the Covid threat, fashion houses are resorting to metaphorical arson and gag orders on evil thrift.

We recommend shorting their stock.

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