Giorgio Armani SpA said it would pull out of two major fashion shows in the coming weeks as Covid-19 cases surge in Europe.
The Italian luxury fashion house said Tuesday it was canceling its planned runway shows at Milan Men’s Fashion Week and Paris Haute Couture Week later this month, casting a shadow over two of the industry’s marquee events.
The company, led by 87-year-old founder Giorgio Armani, made the decision because of “the worsening epidemiological situation,” it said in a statement posted on LinkedIn. “The shows are crucial and irreplaceable occasions but the health and safety of both employees and the public must once again take priority.”
Like the U.S., Europe is experiencing a wave of new coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant, which has brought renewed chaos to global travel, disrupted supply chains and derailed some companies’ plans to start returning staff to the office.
The surge in cases has also clouded the prospects for large in-person events. Italy and France, which are due to host the coming fashion shows, have both registered record numbers of daily cases in recent days, topping 100,000 and 200,000, respectively, far more than in previous waves of the pandemic.
Other luxury brands, including Italy’s Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Zegna, are still due to present new collections at the show in Milan, which runs Jan. 14-18. The Paris show, which opens on Jan. 24, also has a packed schedule, with brands including Chanel and
set to take part.
While many large-scale events are still going ahead globally, some have already fallen victim to the Omicron surge or are being pared back as participants opt for online participation instead of a physical presence.
Last month, the World Economic Forum said its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, would be pushed back from January until the summer of 2022. Meanwhile, this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is still on, although it is set to close a day earlier than originally planned. Several high-profile exhibitors have said they won’t attend the tech show.
Write to Trefor Moss at Trefor.Moss@wsj.com
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