Coronavirus Impact: How the Epidemic Has Impacted the Fashion Industry



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A breakdown of the fashion collections, trade shows and companies impacted by the epidemic.

The global spread of the coronavirus is continuously impacting the fashion industry. Keep checking this article for updates on how brands are responding to the virus.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, so too has its impact on the industry.

The world has been on edge since news of the virus’ outbreak began in late January in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China. The virus has quickly spread globally, with cases popping up in roughly 80 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Japan, Egypt and Iran, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 is increasingly having a negative impact on the fashion industry specifically, especially the fall 2020 fashion month season. Reports of the virus hitting Italy coincided with the end of Milan Fashion Week, leading to the cancellation of a number of runway shows and events.

Here, WWD breaks down the ways that the epidemic — which has amassed over 95,700 cases and 3,281 deaths worldwide as of March 5, according to The New York Times — has impacted the fashion industry.

Fashion Shows:

Giorgio Armani RTW Fall 2020

Giorgio Armani, and models wearing his fall 2020 collection.  Courtesy Photo

COVID-19 has led to the postponement or cancellation of a number of fashion shows for the fall 2020 and resort seasons, including the following:

Agnès B.:

Agnès B. announced that it is canceling its fall 2020 co-ed show, which would have taken place on March 2 in Paris. Instead the brand will release a film and images on March 3.


A.P.C. has canceled its fall 2020 fashion show, scheduled for March 2. “For us at A.P.C., a fashion show is a celebration, and an opportunity for carefreeness and sharing,” the label stated. “Given the uncertainties linked to the spread of the coronavirus, we prefer to cancel […] our [fall 2020] fashion show.”


Giorgio Armani revealed on Feb. 22 that he would no longer be hosting a public runway show in Milan for his fall 2020 collection, rather the show was filmed in an empty theater and posted on the brand’s web site and social media platforms. The company has also closed its offices and plants in Northern Italy for the next week.

“The decision was made to avoid exposing guests to any dangers to their health,” said a company spokesperson.

The designer then revealed on March 5 that we will be postponing his cruise 2021 show in Dubai, which was slated for April 19 and 20. The event would have coincided with the reopening of the Giorgio Armani boutique at the Dubai Mall and marking the first decade of the Armani Hotel in the city.

The event is now scheduled for November.


Burberry has postponed its fall 2020 Shanghai show, which was initially slated for April 23. The show was meant to debut exclusive pieces made for the region. A new date has not yet been revealed.


Cartier canceled its accessories presentation, Cartier Creations, that was scheduled for March 3.

“In light of the concerns associated with international travel at this time, your safety and well-being — and that of our team — are top priority.” The Richemont-owned label added that it planned to show the accessories “in the days ahead,” without specifying the format.

“Please stay tuned for further updates,” it said in an email.


Chanel revealed on Feb. 17 that it has postponed the restaging of its Métiers d’Art show in Beijing, which was planned for this May. The collection was initially presented in Paris on Dec. 4.

“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 date and more appropriate moment,” the design house said in a statement. A new date for the show has not yet been revealed.

The design house also revealed that it has barred its U.S. staff from traveling to Paris for its upcoming fall 2020 show on March 3.


Gucci has canceled its cruise 2021 fashion show in San Francisco on May 18, the design house revealed on March 2, due to the “ongoing uncertainty prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, as a precautionary measure.”

The design house stated it will reveal a new date and location at a later time.

Louis Vuitton:

Louis Vuitton’s fall 2020 show is still slated for March 3, however the design house is also prohibiting its U.S. staff from traveling to Paris for the show.


Prada also plans to postpone its upcoming resort 2021 show, which was initially planned for May 21 in Japan.

“The decision was made as a precautionary measure as well as an act of responsibility and respect for all the people working on and planning to attend our resort 2021 show,” the company said.

The design house will reveal a new location and date at a later time.

Ralph Lauren:

Ralph Lauren has canceled his upcoming fall 2020 fashion show scheduled for April in New York. The designer had skipped out on last month’s New York Fashion Week, revealing he would instead be showing at an unspecified time in April.

Rosie Assoulin:

Rosie Assoulin has announced that she will no longer be presenting her fall 2020 collection on March 1 during Paris Fashion Week. The announcement comes on Feb. 27 as France has reported its second death due to the virus.

The designer will instead bring her collection back to New York, presenting in mid-March by appointment.

Shanghai and Beijing Fashion Weeks:

Both Shanghai and Beijing Fashion Weeks have also been postponed because of the outbreak. Shanghai Fashion Week was slated to begin on March 26 while Beijing’s China Fashion Week was slated to run from March 25 to March 31.

Shanghai Fashion Week is now partnering with Alibaba’s Tmall to create an online platform for the designers and brands to debut their fall 2020 collections from March 24to March 30.

Paris Fashion Week:

Chinese fashion brands Masha Ma, Shiatzy Chen, Uma Wang, Jarel Zhang, Calvin Luo and Maison Mai have all canceled their upcoming Paris Fashion Week events due to the virus.

The news was revealed by French fashion’s governing body, La Fédération de la Haute Couture, which stated it will “make available all its communications platforms to allow these brands to share the work they had planned to present both in France and overseas.”

Milan Fashion Week:

Chinese fashion brands Angel Chen and Ricostru also canceled their fashion shows in Milan last week in the wake of the outbreak.

Ricostru designer, Rico Manchit Au, stated she canceled her show because half of her staff wouldn’t be able to get back to work due to China’s travel restrictions and city lockdowns.

The outbreak has also affected fashion week attendees, including editors from the Chinese editions of Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, T Magazine, WSJ Magazine, Wallpaper* and Nylon, who partly or fully halted their fashion week plans.

Tokyo Fashion Week:

It was revealed on March 2 that Tokyo Fashion Week has been canceled. The event would have run from March 16 to March 21. The announcement comes after brands including Hyke and Vivienne Tam already canceled their shows.

Trade Shows and Other Events:

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna's press conference in Milan.

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna’s press conference in Milan.  Courtesy Photo

The outbreak has also affected a number of international trade shows, including the following:


Baselworld announced on Feb. 28 that it will be rescheduling its upcoming April show for January 2021 due to a decision by authorities to ban public gatherings in Switzerland. The watch fair will now be held from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2 of next year.

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna:

Cosmoprof revealed on Feb. 24 that it will be postponing its upcoming trade show meant to showcase perfumery, cosmetics and packaging. The trade show was originally slated to run from March 13 to March 16 and will now be held from June 11 to June 15 in Bologna, Italy.


Milan’s artistic perfumery show Esxence also postponed the dates of its upcoming trade show. The show was originally slated to run from April 16 to April 19 and will now be held from May 30 to June 2 in the MiCo-Milano Convention Centre venue.

Expo West:

Natural Products Expo West is postponing its annual trade show scheduled for March 3 to March 7 in Anaheim, Calif. Production and setup was already under way this week before the postponement announcement. A new date has not yet been revealed.

Fashion Trust Arabia Awards:

Fashion Trust Arabia has canceled its awards gala on March 5 in Qatar due to the virus. However, co-chairs Sheikha Al-Mayassa and Tania Fares are planning an “intimate showcase” in Paris to feature the 25 finalists whose designs will be reviewed by the judges. Dates for the awards and showcase will be revealed at a later time.


Denim trade show Kingpins has canceled its upcoming Hong Kong show scheduled for May 13 to May 14.

Luxe Pack Shanghai:

High-end packaging trade show, Luxe Pack Shanghai, also revealed it is postponing its upcoming trade show at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. The dates are changing from April 8 and 9 to July 7 and 8.

LVMH Cocktail for Designer Prize Semifinalists:

LVMH has canceled its cocktail event celebrating the 20 semifinalists for its Prize for Young Designers, which would have been held in Paris on Feb. 27. Although the luxury conglomerate did not specify on the reasoning behind the cancellation, it is likely linked to the virus’ outbreak.


At the recent Magic trade show in Las Vegas in February, roughly 40 percent of exhibitors from the sourcing section were unable to make the show due to travel bans in Asia.


Eyewear trade show Mido revealed on Feb. 22 that it is postponing its upcoming trade show at Milan’s Rho Fiera fairgrounds. The trade show was initially slated to run from Feb. 29 to March 2 and will now be held between the end of May and early June.

Movado Swiss Watch Conference:

Movado has canceled its Swiss watch conference in Davos, which was planned for March 14 to March 18. This was meant to be Movado’s third annual stand-alone conference, which the company launched in 2018 as an alternative to Baselworld.

Prada’s “Rubber Pencil Devil” Exhibition in Shanghai:

Prada postponed the “Rubber Pencil Devil” exhibition by artist Alex Da Corte originally slated to run from March 10 to May 24 at the Prada Rong Zhai location in Shanghai. Supported by Fondazione Prada, the exhibition will now be held from November 13 to January 24, 2021.

Shoptalk Conference:

Shoptalk’s annual retail and e-commerce event in Las Vegas has been canceled. The conference was scheduled for later this month and has been rescheduled for mid-September.

Sustainable Future for Fashion

The British Department for International Trade is postponing its Sustainable Future for Fashion showcase event, which was slated for Feb. 28 in Paris. The event would have been hosted by Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell, at the British Ambassador’s Paris residence.

The showcase would have included brands such as Alighieri, Bav Tailor, Belize Bottletop, Edward Crutchley, Haeckels, Hanna Fiedler, Patrick McDowell, Phoebe English, Räthel & Wolf, Stay Wild, Story MFG and Teatum Jones.

Watches & Wonder 

Geneva watch fair, Watches & Wonder, has announced it’s canceling its April show in the wake of the outbreak. The fair would have been held from April 25 to April 29 and would have included brands like Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard Perregaux and Hermès.

A Dip in Sales: 

Iman, Michael Kors

Iman, Michael Kors at the God’s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards.  Lexie Moreland/WWD

Many fashion and beauty companies are facing financial repercussions due to the virus’ effect on production and consumption, with the following companies projecting decreases in sales:

Capri Holdings:

The company, which owns Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo, has closed 150 stores in China and projects its revenues in the next quarter will drop by $100 million.

Tapestry Inc.:

The conglomerate — which owns Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman — said it may lose $200 million to $250 million in sales in the second half of the year and earnings will take a hit of $97 million to $124 million.

Under Armour Inc.:

The sportswear company warned that its first-quarter revenues could take a hit of $50 million to $60 million.

Stock Prices Drop:

Feb. 24, 2020

John Panin, Ryan Falvey. Traders John Panin, center, and Ryan Falvey, right, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, . Stocks are opening broadly lower on Wall Street as investors keep a close eye on trade talks between the U.S. and ChinaFinancial Markets Wall Street, New York, USA - 09 May 2019

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened in the U.S. on Feb. 24 with a sharp decline, decreasing 2.8 percent — or 813.11 points — to 28,179.30. European markets also experienced a decline, with the FTSE MIB in Milan dropping 5.9 percent to 23,303.18, the CAC 40 in Paris dropping 4.1 percent to 5,783.29 and the FTSE 100 in London dropping 3.5 percent to 7,144.31.

Here, a number of the fashion and beauty brands that have experienced sharp declines in stock prices:

Burberry Group:

The company dropped 4.1 percent to 17.94 pounds.

Capri Holdings:

The Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo parent company dropped 5.1 percent to $26.25.


The online luxury retailer dropped 10.2 percent to $11.03.

Fossil Group Inc.:

The accessories conglomerate dropped 7.2 percent to $5.57.


The luxury group dropped 4.5 percent to 536.40 euros.

Lululemon Athletica Inc.:

The apparel company dropped 5.6 percent to $241.63.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton:

The luxury conglomerate dropped 4.1 percent to 387.95 euros.


The luxury brand dropped 5.8 percent to 34.99 euros.

PVH Corp:

The clothing conglomerate dropped 5.0 percent to $80.48.

Ralph Lauren Corp.

The American fashion company dropped 6.9 percent to $109.36.

Revolve Group:

The fast-fashion company dropped 5.9 percent to $19.75.

Safilo Group:

The eyewear company dropped 8.2 percent to 1 euro.

Salvatore Ferragamo Italia:

The luxury goods company dropped 9.2 percent to 14.49 euros.

Tapestry Inc.:

The luxury fashion company dropped 7.8 percent to $25.82.


The Italian fashion company dropped 11.1 percent to 31.24 euros.

Feb. 28, 2020

The stock market experienced one of its worst weeks since the 2008 recession by Feb. 28, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 978.61, or 3.8 percent, to 24,788.03 in the first hour of trading. This left Blue Chip stocks off 14.5 percent for the week. The FTSE 100 in London also traded down 4.9 percent to 6,466.23, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 4.6 percent to 5,244.34 and the FTSE MIB dropped 4.4 percent to 21,787.73.

Fashion companies continued facing large hits, with the following brands experiencing sharp decreases in stock prices.

Burberry Group:

The luxury house dropped 3.3 percent to 16.21 pounds.

Hermès International:

The french luxury fashion company dropped 3.3 percent to 620.00 euros.

Lululemon Athletica Inc.: 

The apparel company dropped again by 4.4 percent to $211.11.

Revolve Group:

The fast e-commerce site again dropped by 4.4 percent to $14.90.

Target Corp.:

The company dropped 4.2 percent to $101.29.


The fashion company dropped 4.3 percent to 30.90 euros.

Walmart Inc.:

The company dropped 5.3 percent to $104.59.

Health Concerns:


As COVID-19 spread to Italy, it was revealed that a 38-year-old man employed by Unilever has been diagnosed with the virus. The man works at a Unilever facility located in the municipality of Casalpusterlengo and works in the research and development department.

It’s been reported that roughly 60 of the man’s coworkers have been isolated by the company’s facility as a precaution and are waiting to get tested before being released.


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