Coronavirus shows its impact on Fashion Weeks in varied ways, cancelled shows, no air-kissing, face masks and more
The global carousel of fashion started this year with New York Fashion Week and will see its last stretch at Paris Fashion Week this Tuesday. The fashion weeks saw less crowd than expected this year.
Coronavirus’s impact on Fashion Week is affirmed by the absence of Asian buyer, designers and editors. Many design houses like Georgio Armani live-streamed there show from an empty theatre during Milan Paris Week. At the ongoing Paris Fashion Week it’s showing such symptoms again.
The Fashion Mood
Fashion in all its vanity is suffering the impact of coronavirus. The COVID-19 is having its moment on the runway and the front row is full of masks. The air kissing has been replaced with the upper arm squeeze this year – it’s the new fashion accessory y’all. And the innocent question ‘Were you in Milan?’ has taken a whole new meaning. Some retailers skipped Milan all together on their calendar and reached directly Paris for buying and upping their trend knowledge.
Cancellation Over Cancellations
Another way Coronavirus impacts Fashion Week is cancellation and cancellation rumours. Many line ups didn’t see the day if the light as Asian labels like Masha Ma, Uma Wang, Shiatzy Chen, Maison Mai, Calvin Luo along with French brand Agnès B cancelled their show.
The most sought out cocktail party during the fashion week, LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers got cancelled the same day France recorded its first Coronavirus case. A karaoke party by Net-a-Porter was cancelled so did New York based label LoveShackFancy’s.
However, cancellation rumours of major shows like LVMH and Milan based label Miu Miu have been debunked. LVMH’s brand chief executive Michael Burke confirmed to WWD, “the show would proceed as planned, the Chinese aren’t coming, but everyone else is”.
Masking It Right
Coronaviru’s impact on Fashion Week is visible in the corridoors, front rows, as well as the runway. Designer Marine Serre whose collection was in production well long before the corona outbreak, was an array of face masks on the ramp. Her aesthetic is aptly defined in the fashion circles as “athleisure for the post-apocalypse.”
As of Paris Fashion Week face masks are dominating the runway Designer Maison Margiela, Marine Serre and more showcased the new inevitable ‘accessory’ of the times. Masks were handed out to the attendees at Designer Dries Van Noten’s autumn/winter collection.
Extra precautions were taken on the runway this year. Designer Pierre Hardy passed out miniature bottles of hand sanitizer in branded bags so did Lemaire and Loewe. One Public Relations company put up signage “Due to the current Corona outbreak, we do not shake hands. We are happy to [be] receiving you here and we are excited to show you our new collections.”
Coronavirus has affected the fashion industry from multiple angles. Having originated in China during the Chinese New Year that comprises 40 per cent of luxury customers, the blockage of the supply chain, the dip in stock market – is adding to the vows of Fashion.