No one could predict at the start of 2020, how the year would unfold. As an agency we feel like we have been around forever and we thought we had seen everything, but we hadn’t. No one could have predicted the impact of COVID and looking back now, it is hard to fathom the panic and uncertainty that engulfed us all.
In the beginning we continued to come into the office, to keep a degree of normality and routine when nothing felt typical and everything was heightened. We knew restrictions were coming so in preparation we started sending collections back to clients. However, when the government announced a national lock down, it still came as a shock. A shock for the industry and particularly for the high street.
People went into freefall panic. Zoom after zoom after zoom. Looking back, we all went through the stages of grief: upset, anger, acceptance. Yet we very quickly adjusted to our new normal. Shopping online reached new heights, we worked with clients to develop new ways of connecting with customers and brands reassessed their offer and adapted it for the new face of fashion.
GBPR Teams calls twice a day at 10am and 5pm combined with juggling homelife and work life under the same roof. The new routine offered comfort and stability in a deeply uncertain world. And the results! Well the results were incredible!
I’m so proud of how the team came together. We worked and we worked, and the clients survived, brand awareness was increased, beautiful editorials were still able to be shot. A stunning Vogue cover featuring Adwoa Aboah wearing Lock & Co; Suranne Jones wearing The Deck on the cover of the Times and Telegraph for the BAFTA’s and then Royal Ascot At Home. A triumph! We thought that working for 6 days straight at Royal Ascot was tough, but nothing could match the adrenalin of seeing an incredible campaign that we had pulled together in six weeks come to life on a truly global scale. The nation rallied behind the campaign to celebrate the best of British and nearly half a million pounds was raised for the NHS and front-line workers.
Time seemed to speed up and suddenly it was September. We moved into new offices on Savile Row and started a new routine of mixing working from home with the office. We saw some of our wonderful clients again face to face and admired the beautiful collections which were created during the pandemic. The phone rang constantly, and more and more shoots were happening. People were on the streets of the West End again. Wonderful new clients joined our roster including Monsoon, Seraphina, Oliver Brown and Penny Morrison. We had survived COVID.
Now we look forward to 2021 and the chance to reconnect with friends, families and colleagues. The future is bright and we look forward to seeing what it holds.