During Paris Fashion Week the topic of corona virus was also omnipresent. Here our colleague Barbara Markert describes her impressions.
"Are we allowed to greet each other properly in times of coronavirus?" jokes the press officer at the entrance to a fashion show, but still gives the journalist a kiss on the cheek. But the question is justified. Even though facemasks are not very visible in the front-row–probably for aesthetic and fashionable reasons–the virus is the topic of conversation at Fashion Week. Already in the run-up to the show some labels such as Shiatzy Chen and Jarel Zhang cancelled their shows. Now there are more and more cancellations: Hugo Boss has closed its showroom, which was supposed to host guests on Thursday. Roman- Alexander Schäfer, head of global marketing and brand communications explains: "As a precautionary measure, Hugo Boss employees who participated in Milan Fashion Week are not travelling in the next few days.“
More and more journalists are also staying away from Paris Fashion Week–not only Asian, but also European, especially Italians. Although no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Paris at present, the Ministry of Health has reported that the situation is being closely monitored and that security measures may be imposed.
The organizers of the numerous fashion fairs report that Chinese visitors stay completely away from these events. And many Japanese buyers have greatly reduced the number of people travelling to Paris. Those responsible for the trade fairs are now relying on their online platforms to provide their Asian customers with information and offer them a way to place orders there.
The coronavirus is weakening the already suffering industry, which is globally organized and connected like no other. China is also one of the largest producers of fashion, as well as currently one of the most important sales markets.