Image: Alessandro Lucioni
Giorgio Armani has canceled its men’s fall 2022 runway shows, which were set to take place during Milan Men’s Fashion Week this month, due to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. In addition, the brand has withdrawn from the Paris Haute Couture Week, which is taking place this month. The Omicron variant swept across Europe in mid-December, causing a spike in Covid-19 cases. Despite having a high vaccination rate, Italy and many of its neighboring European countries saw more than 100,000 new infections per day during the holiday season.
As a result, European countries have reintroduced restrictions in an attempt to halt the virus’s spread. In Italy, masks are now required in public spaces, and the Netherlands has re-entered a strict nationwide lockdown. For many fashion brands, the rise in Covid-19 cases and associated measures has thrown a wrench in the works. After more than a year of watching runway shows on television, the fashion industry came back together last year and attended physical runway shows. The comeback marked the start of a new era for the trillion-dollar industry, and brands are eager to show off their new collections to their customers.
Image: Alessandro Lucioni
Image: Alessandro LucioniArmani Privé Fall 2021 Collection
The initial euphoria surrounding these shows has faded, as brands are being forced to reconsider their operations in light of the Omicron variant, which could make these shows a hotspot for infections. Brands must also consider the health of their employees and the general public, ensuring that their well-being is not jeopardized.
“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.
It’s possible that Giorgio Armani will be the first brand to cancel upcoming shows, but it’s unclear whether other brands will follow suit. The British Fashion Council had already announced in December of last year that it would not be hosting the official London Fashion Week, citing “uncertainties arising from Covid-19” as the reason. Other luxury brands, such as Zegna, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, are still scheduled to present their collections at the Milan show. Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Fendi, and the other usual attendees are on the official list for haute couture week.
Giorgio Armani, on the other hand, has yet to confirm how and when its collections will be unveiled.