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Coronavirus concerns continues to hit fashion week

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Feb 24, 2020

While both New York and London fashion week’s were both hit with some Asian designer’s not being able to show, as well as a lower attendance due to editors and buyers from China hit by travel bans, overall, fashion week hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus until now, as Giorgio Armani decided to stage his planned Sunday catwalk in Milan behind closed doors.

Armani said in a statement that the move was a “preventative measure” due to the developments of the coronavirus in Italy where a number of northern towns have been quarantined, and was to “support national efforts in safeguarding public health”.

The designer was meant to hold two shows, on February 23, at his Via Bergognone headquarters, to close Milan Fashion Week, instead, the fashion house filmed the catwalk show in an empty theatre and live-streamed on the brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Uncertainty surrounding virus outbreak affecting more than just fashion sales

The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is also set to impact Paris Fashion Week, as it is expected that the outbreak has kept as many as 1,000 Chinese fashion buyers from Europe’s top shows, while at least five Chinese designers have also cancelled their shows.

In a statement from the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, it said that Chinese designers Masha Ma, Shiatzy Chen, Jarel Zhan, Calvin Luo, and Maison Mai would not be able to present their collections, and that Uma Wang would present their collection as a presentation instead of a show.

It did add that it was also setting up a “specific visibility” on its social and digital networks for designers who are prevented from showing their collection as planned, and those from Asia who are unable to attend Paris Fashion Week will be able to view collections broadcast on social networks, including Weibo and Douyin.

However, there was also defiance to the latest outbreaks in Europe, with Paris Fashion Week still set to showcase 96 brands, 70 catwalk shows and 26 presentations between February 24 and March 3.

This will include the debut of Felipe Oliveira Batista as the new artistic director at Kenzo. The contemporary label decided to skip men’s fashion week in January in favour of the women’s fashion week to showcase his debut collection that will be for both men and women.

Photo: Giorgio Armani SS20, Catwalkpictures