Giorgio Armani Cancels Runway Shows Amidst Rising Covid-19 Cases

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Giorgio Armani Spring 2022
Image: Alessandro Lucioni

A resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases has prompted Giorgio Armani to cancel its men’s fall 2022 runway shows that were slated to happen during Milan Men’s Fashion Week this month.

Additionally, the brand has also pulled out from the Paris Haute Couture week that is happening this month as well. Covid-19 cases in Europe saw a spike from mid-December when the Omicron variant swept across the continent. Despite achieving a high rate of vaccination, Italy and many of the surrounding countries in Europe saw more than 100,000 new daily infections over the holiday season.

As a result, European nations have reinstated restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Masks are now mandatory in outdoor spaces in Italy and the Netherlands had re-enter a strict nationwide lockdown. The rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and its associated measures have thrown a spanner in the works for many fashion brands.

Last year, the fashion industry finally got back together and attended physical runway shows after more than a year of watching it on the screen. The comeback signalled a new beginning for the trillion-dollar industry and brands are looking forward to presenting their collections to their customers.

The initial euphoria following these shows quickly dissipated as now brands are forced to reconsider their businesses in light of the Omicron variant and potentially make these shows a hotspot for infections. Brands also have to consider the health of their employees and the public and their well-being should not be compromised.

“As [Giorgio Armani] has expressed on many occasions, the shows are crucial and irreplaceable occasions but the health and safety of both employees and the public must once again take priority,” said the Milan-based fashion house.

“This decision was made with great regret and following careful reflection in light of the worsening epidemiological situation,” continued the brand.

Giorgio Armani may be the first brand to officially cancel its upcoming shows, it remains to be seen if other brands will follow. In December last year, the British Fashion Council had already put out a statement stating that the organisation will not be hosting the official London Fashion Week, citing “uncertainties arising from Covid-19” as the reason.

Currently, other fellow luxury brands, including Zegna, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana are still due to present their collections at the show in Milan. As for the haute couture week, Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Fendi and the other usual attendees are on the official list.

Giorgio Armani, however, has yet to confirm its plans on how and when it will unveil its collections.

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