What the mourning of Thailand’s King meant for the Thai fashion industry

Image from The Telegraph

The passing of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October of last year (2016) sent the country of Thailand into a year long period of mourning. Accompanying this deeply sad time was a sudden increase in the demand for black and white clothing which unsurprisingly had a significant impact on the Thai fashion industry. While Black is the colour of mourning in Thailand, white is the colour of purity.

As demand for black and white clothes went up, demand for anything straying from this decreased rapidly and brands had to act quickly. Designers, buyers and marketers to name only a few involved in the industry had to adapt the products they were making and selling before profits were lost. While brands were suffering, street traders and other cheap clothing retailers where thriving as their low cost products were financially accessable for those who had to unexpectedly change their wardrobe.

Wearing anything that wasn’t black or white was considered disrespectful by the people of Thailand however, this was not just limited to clothing. As you can imagine, shop windows had to be altered and so as well as those involved in fashion production, those involved in visual merchandising and marketing had to accomodate these changes too.

Though a deeply saddening situation, it is interesting to see how everday life and cultures affect the clothes we wear and how we sell products. This particular occurence highlights just how fast paced the fashion industry is and how rapidly it can be changed.


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