With the coronavirus outbreak spreading far beyond its epicentre in Wuhan City, the ripple effect continues to impact people and industries around the world -- from tourism to education to airlines and luxury goods.
This expanding shadow is having multiple ramifications in the fashion industry. Travel restrictions and warnings from various countries in an attempt to contain the virus mean a host of Chinese designers, buyers, magazine editors and models have not or will not be able to attend the 2020 Autumn/Winter fashion shows.
China's absence is sharply felt on runways from New York to London. Contributing to one-third of global spending, the Asian giant is widely known as the bread and butter of the world’s luxury sector. Swatch Group, whose prestige brands include Blancpain, Breguet, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston and Omega, has recently decided not to hold the Time to Move event in order to avoid international travel in an insecure climate. The watch summit was initially scheduled to take place in Zurich from March 4-6, 2020.
As the Chinese saying goes, “When disaster struck, help came from all sides”. The spirit of compassion is widely seen. Temporarily closing half of its China stores to prioritize the health and safety of their stakeholders, athletic powerhouse Nike has also made a donation of RMB 10 million to battle the virus. China’s premium down jacket brand, BoSiDeng, has donated 150 thousand down jackets valued over RMB 300 million to frontline doctors and medical workers. Hermès has pledged five million Yuan to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, honouring the medical professionals who are fighting on the front line.
Despite cancelling his scheduled trip to Paris Fashion Week, Calvin Luo, one of China’s world-leading designers, will be launching his 2020 Autumn/Winter fashion show online as well as donating 10% of the sales to China’s medical institutions.
Not long ago, Japan donated a great amount of medical aids to Wuhan. Each donation package is labeled with the Chinese characters: Although hills and rills set us apart, the moon and wind share our kind heart (山川異域 ，風月同天) and together we stand, my armors thine (豈曰無衣？與子同裳!)
Together we must stand in the fight against this epidemic.