Going Green: Karin Evans Coric, President of Top Model Zimbabwe, on the Future of Beauty and Fashion Post COVID19

Globally, lives were altered this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world has had to adapt to new norms and adjust to the ‘new normal’ to maintain stability. The UNDP Zimbabwe came together with some of the best creatives and influencers in the creative industry and launched a digital campaign to raise awareness on Covid-19. We spoke with Karin Evans Coric, the President of Top Model Zimbabwe, the Agency which provided the models for the visual campaign, about their involvement in the campaign, the creative industry, and her vision for the future…

Can you tell us about your involvement in the UNDP Beyond Now: Reimagining Society Campaign. Why did you decide to get on board for this?

Our involvement with the UNDP “Beyond now; Reimagining Society” Campaign was to provide models for a virtual fashion show showcasing designs from Zimbabwe’s top designers and working with the best creatives in the country on a campaign that is so relevant at the moment. We were very excited to be asked to participate in this league and obviously did not want to miss out on this opportunity.

How important do you think Zimbabwean Creatives coming together and collaborating is in contributing to the growth of the Creative Industry in this country?

I think it’s so important for Zimbabwean Creatives to come together and collaborate to grow the creative industry in Zimbabwe. Together we can achieve so much more than we can individually. Coming together has a bigger and stronger impact in spreading the message as well as showing our audiences what can be done when we are unified and working together towards a bigger and better future. Zimbabwe has so much talent and this was such a great opportunity to bring it all together and produce such an amazing campaign.

2020 has been a tough year for all fields because of Covid-19. How has the pandemic affected the modelling industry, particularly in Zimbabwe?

2020 has been a rough year for all fields and the modelling industry is no exception, the cancellation of events, the lack of advertising, designers not producing collections as readily as normal because of High Street stores and the market in general having to lower their orders as obviously due to lockdown, sales in stores have fallen to a record low.

The whole world has had to reimagine life and create ‘new normals’ because of the Pandemic and that is what this campaign is all about. Has your brand managed to adjust to the new normal and what are the results?

We, like everybody else as a brand have had to re-imagine life and create a new normal, we are trying to be as flexible as we can to keep our head above water but who knows what the future holds. What we do know is that we have to come together and work for the good of our country in doing what it takes to eradicate the pandemic and ensure that we as Zimbabweans are informed, feel supported by each other and come together to ‘flatten’ the curve’.

How do we, as the consumers of beauty and fashion, reimagine our relationship with these in this reimagined post Covid society? Any insights from you as a creative in this field?

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shut downs have created unprecedented challenges for the beauty and fashion industry, including declining consumer spending and disrupted supply chains. The situation may accelerate the shift to greener, more sustainable supply chains, which will not only be decisive for businesses, but also impact the future of the beauty and fashion industry as a whole. Improving the sourcing of raw materials with better recycling processes, reducing water consumption and substituting hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives are among the measures that can cut the environmental footprint of the fashion and beauty sector and help these industries to survive in the new business scenario.

Have there been any positive aspects that you have drawn from this whole experience? (Covid 19)

It’s so easy to lose your hopes and brood over the negative side effects of any event, especially when as a community we are battling a global pandemic. But for every low there is a high and it’s true that even in this current scenario there are silver linings. Things that we have drawn from this experience is that we were so busy living the ‘life’ that we lost real, genuine moments with our loved ones, you’ve gotten time to spend with your family and plan your work better. This actually helps to build a better future for both your work and your family. With life having slowed down we have found better ways to stay connected with people virtually. We have been forced to be creative in the way we work using technology effectively and to our advantage to make life simpler and more efficient.

Can you give us an exclusive sneak peek into your image of a post Covid -19 society in Zimbabwe? What does your reimagined society beyond now look like?

Zimbabweans are a wonderful nation of kind, social, outgoing people, I think in a post Covid-19 society, beyond the now, Zimbabweans have been forced to technologically keep up to speed with the rest of the world in order to keep ourselves ‘ticking’. I feel moving forward, this will help us to be more efficient in terms of virtually connecting, making the world smaller and more accessible.

As someone who came from being a model, to being the President of Top Model Zimbabwe, what advice would you give to someone aspiring to take that next BIG leap on their own journey?

As someone who’s come from being a model to being the President of TOP MODEL the advice I would give to upcoming Models is to go through the correct channels, get yourself a good agency, put in the time, do the training…you need to know what to do, how to work well professionally as well as how the industry functions, which in turn will assist you and your agency advancing you further up the ladder.

You are currently the President of the Modelling Industry Association of Zimbabwe, the President and Founder member of the Zimbabwe Fashion Council and mentor for the Elite International Model Search (Zimbabwe). That is a lot of hats do wear! How do you manage to handle it all?

I do wear a lot of hats but this industry is my passion and I believe that I put my whole heart into the growth not only of my models but of the industry as a whole.

What ignites your creative process? Where do you get your inspiration from?

My late husband was an amazing source of creativity, he had an amazing mind and inspired and encouraged me to explore so many different worlds…so I have to re-imagine my own world and be inspired by ‘my new normal’. I also draw a lot of inspiration from global trends and what’s happening in the fashion and modelling industry internationally.

As the year is coming to an end, any new projects from you and Top Model Zimbabwe to look forward to in 2021?

We are very excited to welcome 2021 and hope and pray that it will ring in with a new energy and be successful for us all. We at TOP MODEL and me personally have some very exciting new adventures planned and will be using the tools and the things we have learnt from this Covid-19 period to better ourselves, our working environment and the people around us.

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