Italy is facing a coronavirus emergency. After the first few cases registered in Northern Italy on Friday February 21, a series of measures were taken immediately after. For the closing day of Milan Fashion Week, Sunday, February 23, 2020, all shows and events were canceled due to directives by Regione Lombardia imposing the “suspension of events, meetings or happenings of any nature in public or private location.”
On Saturday February 22 Giorgio Armani had already announced that his sunday show would have happened behind closed doors and it would have been visible via video only afterwards. Various other events such as the Baracuta-Jaguar collab launch, the Laura Biagiotti show and the Moncler open to public installation–all expected for Sunday–were also canceled.
Also on the show side more events were canceled. On Saturday February 22, the organization of Mido, the Italian eyewear show expected to happen from February 29 to March 2, postponed its 50th edition. Also Filo, the Italian specialized show involving yarns manufacturers expected to happen on February 27-28 was canceled.
Despite the spreading of the virus, Milan also registered strong business losses because of the absence of Chinese insiders. According to estimates by Italian Fashion Chamber, the event registered about 1,000 Chinese fashion business insiders less than in previous editions. Moreover, the impact of coronavirus might be worse than what Sars had caused in the early 2000s as by next six months the Italian fashion business might lose about up to €230 milion revenues.
As part of the tributes many designer brands paid to the Chinese who are unable to be part of Milan Fashion Week, Giorgio Armani ended his show with a message of love for China – a country with which the designer has always maintained a special bond, both aesthetically and culturally, - with a selection of looks from the Giorgio Armani privé spring/summer 2009 and 2019 collections, which were specifically inspired by China.