Coronavirus Hits Milan as Fashion Week Enters Final Stretch

The coronavirus outbreak has hit Milan as fashion week nears its end — and an anxious industry is wondering what’s next.

According to CNN, 110 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy as of Sunday morning, most of them in the Lombardy region — which includes Milan. In the city itself, there are two cases so far as of Sunday morning, according to Bloomberg.

On Saturday night, Giorgio Armani made the decision to hold his show today beyond closed doors. “The show will be filmed in an empty theater, without press and buyers” and will be live on Armani.com, the brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts at 5 p.m. CET, the company said in a brief note. “The decision was made to avoid exposing guests to any dangers to their health,” said the company.

Fila is also on the schedule for today, and FN has reached out to the brand to see how their presentation might be impacted.

Meanwhile, many Milan-based industry players fear for their own health and safety, and what the coronavirus could mean for the city in the weeks ahead. One local designer said he was worried about staying in Milan, but also fearful of flying to Paris, where fashion week begins tomorrow.

Several others events across Milan and the Lombardy region have been canceled or postponed, including eyewear trade show Mido, set for Feb. 29 to March 2. Micam and Lineapelle wrapped here this week.

For weeks, industry players in Italy and across the world have been focused on protecting their workers and operations in China, the center of the outbreak.

Companies from Nike and Adidas to Kering and Burberry have all sent financial warnings about their near-term results, with retail in Chin, the biggest growth market for luxury, in a dismal state.

Coronavirus has crippled the shoe manufacturing industry in China during the past several weeks, and some factories still have not reopened.

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