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"Les Annees Folles - Roaring Twenties"

By Anchal Jain

1. Post the War and Spanish Flu, the economy rapidly transitioned to unprecedented prosperity, aided by doubling of working class families during war, dropping inflation and women adding to the GDP. These crazy years gave boost to many new product categories and inventions such as aviation, television, automobiles etc. Art movements such as Jazz, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Colour and Sound Cinema, Dance Clubs etc. flourished.

2. Women emerged as a liberated force, heralding a large bouquet of new opportunities for lifestyle businesses. Some key examples are Cosmetics, Feminine shavers, Trench Coat, Mainstreaming of Jewellery. New women clothing categories like shorter skirts, heels, jumpsuit, etc. became big. Coco Chanel, with her Little Black Dress and trousers, became a beacon of liberty and exploration of feminine sexuality. Women became a strong lifestyle consumer segment in their own right!

3. However, the countries also became insular post WW-1 with Passports, visas coming strongly into play. Trade and Capital restrictions became the new normal. These and the poorly imagined Treaty of Versailles that punished the Germans and Austrians harshly, were to join hands with the excesses of the twenties to usher in the Great Depression besides seeding the Second War.

4. These mistakes were remembered and corrected when dealing with the post Second War world however, and what followed were some of the most prosperous decades. I believe that post COVID-19 period will be a similarly long boom time with new opportunities for lifestyle industries.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are Val-More’s views only. Anchal is neither an economist nor an astrologer. However, besides having an ability to connect future dots, he is an eternal optimist always looking at the positives in human behavior in any difficult moment to come out stronger. Special mention of Manoj Kumar and Geetanjali Rastogi from the Val-More partner team for their contribution and challenges.

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