Zemfira Salamova (Russian State University for the Humanities/ HSE Moscow). The comfortable self-isolation in the product photography of clothing retailers

Adapting to the COVID pandemic, clothing retailers (Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius) started publishing new similar product photos on their sites in April. These photos picture people (models) wearing the brand products in domestic interiors or deserted streets/yards/natural sites. In some cases, the interiors are presented as real dwellings of the models but most of them look like thoroughly prepared «backgrounds». The models perform calmness and boredom, they seem stress- and work-free although the photos document them working.

There are many T-shirts, tops, joggers and shorts among the clothes which are proposed as «homewear» on the photos. However, besides these «usual suspects», the images also include clothing items that were associated with «work», «street» or «festive» looks before the pandemic: for example, long and short dresses, trouser suits. Most of the product photography lack masks which are considered the trendiest piece of pandemic clothing. The reasons for this absence could be both ethical (the essential masks shouldn’t be used for commercial aims) and aesthetical.

Zemfira Salamova>>