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The impact of coronavirus on the fashion industry

By Robyn Turk

Mar 10, 2020

A global area of concern, the coronavirus has quickly become the topic at the front of all minds. As a result of responses to the health crisis, the stock market experienced sharp declines, demonstrating the impact of the virus on consumer industries. While the impact on fields including travel, entertainment and technology are widely known, lifestyle industries - including fashion - have been affected as well.

The virus became an international topic of discussion at the height of this season's fashion month, though its impacts continue to affect the industry.

Event cancelations

Fashion events scheduled to take place in or close to China were the first to announce cancelations. This included Kingpins Hong Kong, Chanel's Beijing cruise show and the entirety of Shanghai Fashion Week, which was meant to begin on March 26.

As cases of the virus began to appear in Italy last month, Giorgio Armani cancelled its Milan Fashion Week show. However, several designers have decided to preemptively cancel shows scheduled in the coming weeks in various locations. Prada canceled its May 21 cruise presentation, which was meant to take place in Japan. Gucci's San Francisco cruise show, which had been planned for May 18, was also cancelled, as was Versace's May 16 cruise event. Max Mara announced on March 10 that it would cancel its upcoming cruise show, scheduled for May 25 in St. Petersburg.

Affected sales

Numerous global brands, including Nike and Uniqlo closed store operations across China following the coronavirus outbreak. This has already made an impact on sales. Ralph Lauren reported a decrease in sales by an estimate of 55 to 70 million dollars. Capri Holdings, which owns Versace, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, experienced a revenue loss of 100 million dollars, according to CNBC.

Donations to research

Looking to a resolution for the global health crisis, Giorgio Armani has donated 1.25 million euros to hospitals and institutions in Italy. Versace made a contribution of about 144 thousand dollars to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

Photo credit: CSD y Damur