13 Major fashion events that are affected by COVID-19


By Joan Kong

13 Major fashion events that are affected by COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase worldwide (the World Health Organisation has declared it a global pandemic, and Malaysia will be under a nationwide movement restriction order from March 18 to 31), many major events—locally and globally—have been cancelled or pushed back until further notice, including watch fairs, concerts, and more. Fashion brands and fashion week organisers have also put a halt or postponed their big events happening in the next few months. The travelling Cruise 2021 shows, in particular, were affected the most.

Below, find out which fashion shows and events have been cancelled, postponed, or going ahead as scheduled:



UPDATE: 18 March 2020, 4.45pm

Chanel’s Cruise 2021 show in Capri

The Chanel Cruise 2021 show in Capri is the latest fashion event to be cancelled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the French Maison announced the postponement of its Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2020 replica show in Beijing exactly a month ago, it wasn’t until today that the cancellation of its Cruise show is confirmed. In a statement released by the brand, it says, “Chanel is examining alternative ways of presenting its collection in Capri at a later date and in a different format.”


Seoul Fashion Week

Scheduled to be held on March 17 to 21 at its usual venue at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Fashion Week has been called off end of last month after South Korea had a surge of COVID-19 cases that made it the country with the most number of confirmed cases outside of Mainland China. The country has since dropped to number four on the list, and currently has 7,470 active cases as of March 12.


Tokyo Fashion Week

Rakuten Fashion Week which was set to take place from March 16 to 21 has also been cancelled. Japan’s other biggest fashion festival—The Tokyo Girls Collection—was previously held on February 29 without a live audience. The show was livestreamed on Line instead. The director of Japan Fashion Week Organisation Kaoru Imaju told Business of Fashion, “I am sorry for the designers [who] looked forward to their shows”, and that they will try to work with international media to bring their designers’ visibility online.


Gucci’s Cruise 2021 show in San Francisco

Over a month after Gucci announced its Cruise 2021 show will take place in San Francisco on May 18 this year, the brand revealed in a statement that it has decided to cancel the show as a result of “the ongoing uncertainty prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, as a precautionary measure.” The company added, “A decision on the new timing and location of the show will be announced at a later date, once the situation becomes clearer. At this time, our thoughts are with all of those affected around the world.” The California city was chosen by creative director Alessandro Michele for its history as a center of liberal activism and for being a cultural melting pot. A new location and date will be revealed later.

Ralph Lauren’s Autumn 2020 show in New York

Ralph Lauren—who decided to opt out from the recent New York Fashion Week AW20 schedule for a separate show in April—has also decided to put a halt to its plans out of concern for the epidemic. The designer previously revealed that he will be staging a special show at an undisclosed location in the Big Apple in late April, but with the number of confirmed cases in the U.S soaring, a spokesperson for the brand told WWD that, “In light of the ongoing uncertainties related to the novel coronavirus around the world, we have decided to cancel our Fall 2020 show as a precautionary measure and out of respect for our teams, partners and consumers. Our primary focus remains on their health and safety.”

Max Mara’s Cruise 2021 show in Saint Petersburg

Max Mara is the latest fashion house to join the list of brands cancelling their shows. The brand revealed earlier this week that the event will no longer be held in the Russian city due to “precautionary measures”, but no additional info was provided.



UPDATE: 17 March 2020, 6.45am

The Met Gala

Less than two months before the event is scheduled to happen on May 4, the Met Gala is the latest fashion event to be postponed indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anna Wintour, the chair of fashion’s biggest event, said in a statement, “One day that will not arrive on schedule will be the opening of the Costume Institute‘s exhibition, ‘About Time.’ Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, ‘About Time,’ and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date.” The decision comes shortly after the Metropolitan Museum announced it was closing until further notice after two of its employees showed symptoms of the virus on Friday.

UPDATE: 12 March 2020, 7.48pm

Versace’s Cruise 2021 show in US

Although the exact location was undisclosed, Versace—which initially scheduled to show its Cruise 2021 collection on May 16 in the United States—and have decided to press pause on the event. The brand said in a statement that it was “conscious of the need to prioritise the health and safety of its guests and employees” and that it would “inform all parties involved on new plans as soon as possible.” The luxury brand has also donated one million RMB (approximately USD $143,500) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help fight the epidemic. Donatella Versace added, “I urge everyone to help by donating to groups on the ground that assist those in need.”

Giorgio Armani’s Cruise 2021 show in Dubai

Scheduled to take place in Dubai on April 19, Giorgio Armani is also one of the brands that has decided to postpone its Cruise 2021 show due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The initial decision came in conjunction with the reopening of the Giorgio Armani boutique in the Dubai Mall and 10 years since the opening of the Armani Hotel at Burj Khalifa. This decision came after Mr. Armani decided to cancel its Autumn/Winter 2020 show during Milan Fashion Week. Like Versace, the designer has also donated 1.25 million Euros to four hospitals (three in Milan and one in Rome) to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2020 show in Beijing

Chanel has announced that it will be postponing its upcoming Métiers d’Art 2020 show—a replica of the Paris event in December last year—in Beijing. The French fashion house revealed in a statement that, “Considering the current situation and following the guidance of Chinese authorities, Chanel has decided to postpone its project of a replica of the Paris-31 rue Cambon 2019/20 Métiers d’Art collection in May in Beijing to a later and more appropriate moment.”

Prada’s Cruise 2021 show in Japan

Originally set to take place on May 21, Prada is also pushing back its Cruise 2021 show to “a more appropriate moment”. “Prada extends its sincere sympathies and concern to all the people and territories affected by this situation,” reads a statement to WWD. The event was set to mark the first time the Italian fashion house had ever hosted a show in the country.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit

Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the annual sustainability event, has been rescheduled to October. A statement released by its organisers reads, “While this was certainly a difficult decision, we believe it is the only responsible and sensible thing to do, taking the global health uncertainties and authority recommendations into consideration. The health and safety of everyone on our team, including the numerous participants who come from across the globe to Copenhagen each May to convene and advance sustainability in fashion is our first priority.”

Going virtual

Shanghai Fashion Week is going online

Although the Shanghai Fashion Week organisers initially mentioned they will be pushing back the Autumn/Winter 2020’s shows until further notice, the March 24 event is now back on track. But instead of a live show, over 100 brands will be unveiling their new collections online via a partnership with Alibaba Group’s Tmall marketplace. Everyone will be able to tune in to the livestream and even place their orders for items via the virtual shopping rooms.

Business as usual (for now)

That said, a number of Cruise 2021 shows are still going ahead as planned, including Dior‘s in Lecce, Southern Italy on May 9, and Alberta Ferretti‘s in Rimini on May 22.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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