Milan fashion week 2020 and COVID-19

Past fashion week in Milan left a lot of thoughts, perhaps, as never before. Definitely, I don’t mean the impressions on the shows. Covid-19, or coronavirus, and the panic it created in Milan, was the most popular topic of the week. 

Starting slow, coming in as a rumor, after a couple of days since the beginning of the Fashion Week the breakout aroused the crowd with the repeal of many fashion shows and events under the urgently issued local dispositions. Senior Giorgio Armani was the one who pioneered the chain of cancellations. However, the brand made it by sitting down on diplomatic twine. On the one hand, the collection was revealed and presented by 12 Chinese models, thereby, supporting China under the conditions. On the other hand, the show performance happened behind closed doors as “a preventive measure to support national efforts in safeguarding public health”, yet, fully accessible to watch live. 

A couple of days later Camera Nazionale della moda Italiana announced all its shows and events official cancellation. Many autonomous shows and events also joined the group.

Nonetheless, those brands who caught the boat could still present their collections before the situation became pandemic. Thus, almost all events of Emerging Talents, Fashion Club Milan, Fashion Vibes Milano released new talents to the public.

“We had to cancel our last day event (second day of the pop up store presentation) because of the regional regulations,” – declared the representative of Emerging talents initiative. 

Brand Bashaques
Photo source: Milan Fashion Club
Designer Steven Blanco
Photo source: Milan Fashion Club

“Following the dispositions of the Regional government we have to cancel the events,” – was announced by Fashion Club Milan.

Brand Valiosa
Source FashionVibesMilano

Brand Vel
Source FashionVibesMilano

But before it happened, about 20 new, young and talented designers brightened up the runways with their collections within the talent supporting initiatives. Here are some of the bright moments.

Fashion vibes were fully spread by the show of Egyptian designer Sara Onsi with her bridal and evening dresses collection.

Rocking the runway of Palazzo Visconti Indonesian designer Hian Tjen left no one indifferent. The audience of the palace was so much impressed by the collection that people kept clapping for a couple of minutes after the show shouting out “Bravo!”. Indeed, each dress was the haute couture piece up to every single detail.

Urban Kimono – 100% “made in Italy” brand, however, created by  Russian designer Anastasia Gorodilova, smartly using cultural appropriation, presented a new vision of Japanese kimono. Not missing the hot topic, I also asked Anastasia about her thoughts on the situation with COVID -19 and its impact on the fashion week. 

“The panic started right after the day of the show, so, we didn’t really have time to be worried before. No one took it so much serious!” – designer Anastasia Gorodilova, brand Urban Kimono.

“I had to change the entire plan before coming to Milan. First of all, we intended to shoot the lookbook in Hong Kong with the team and only after to fly directly to Milan for the show. But it was no longer possible and we went to Singapore for shooting. Thus, we missed a couple of days.” – Natacha Van, a designer from Cambodia.

Designer Natacha Van
Source @natacha_van
Designer Natacha Van
Source @natacha_van

A week before the outbreak in Milan in the event of Milan Fashion Club pop up store opening I met Daria Fisher (@dariafisher) – Russian violinist and show performer. This absolutely talented cosmic girl creates music and performs it in extraordinary ways: while flying above the crowd or dancing, presenting designer outfits or the looks she has made by herself. Having beyond a creative mind she is able to find inspiration in everything. After the Milan fashion week on the return to Russia she was closed for the 14 days quarantine (still, locked in there).  Despite the depressive time she found inspiration and released a new track dedicated to the whole situation around.

Daria Fisher at the Milan Fashion Club pop-up store opening
Daria Fisher at the Milan Fashion Club pop-up store opening

 There is an obvious question – how the virus outbreak reflected on the brands and designers who`s fashion shows and events were canceled. Clearly, the money loss is much higher than the costs of the show itself. The lost profit on future sales, media coverage and all the related costs will hit the victims in the nearby future instead of the planned outcomes. The beginners, perhaps, will redesign the start-up strategy according to the new reality with the gained losses.

Today the picture painted by COVID-19 is not positive yet, the long-term impact on the industry and the economy in general is definitely deplorable. However, the question of the last week within the industry was on how it (the fashion industry) can impact the situation rather than the opposite expectations and economic return. So, few supporting initiatives were launched by the industry players. Fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni with crowdfunding has reached more than 3 million euros in 24 hours coming from 165.000 donations from over 92 countries. Senior Armani donated 1 250 000 million euros to the hospital in Milan and closed for the time of the quarantine (until April 3) all the Armani group facilities. Many public persons openly speak up via their social media about the situation in the country and its development. Perhaps, this union contributed to the big and globally important achievement – today the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

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