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The fashion industry is feeling the impact of the coronavirus

All industries are feeling the effect of the coronavirus breakout as most cases are in China, the manufacturing and production capital of the world. The impact of the coronavirus is delivering a hit to the entire luxury sector including Milan and Paris Fashion Week.

The owner of luxury brands Saint Laurent and Gucci, Kering, announced that they closed half of their luxury brands in mainland China along with reducing hours with the remaining open stores. Kering also announced they will be diverting inventory from China to other regions including pushing back campaigns and launches.

Kering isn’t the only luxury holding company experiencing the impact of the coronavirus. Luxury brand powerhouse Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) reported executives announced they expect the impact of the coronavirus would pass in a few weeks. The owner of Coach, Tapestry, and the holding owner of Versace, Capri Holdings, also noted they’re sales are taking a hard hit in their China sector.

Executives and investors are worried about the impact of the coronavirus because brands rely on Chinese shoppers that give a boost in their quarterly earnings. Chinese buyers are accounted for 40% of the $305 billion spent in luxury goods last year and drove 80% of growth.

Luxury brands are also committing to donations to help the coronavirus crisis with Kerig donating $1 million to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation. The Chinese Red Cross Foundation received a commitment from LVMH for $2.3 million and L’Oreal also donated $720,000.

Dolce & Gabbana announced they will partner with Humanitas University to fund a coronavirus research project, looking into the responses of the immune system to the virus and aims to lay the groundwork for “the development of therapeutic and diagnostic interventions” against the coronavirus. Dolce & Gabbana has a relationship with the university and provides scholarships for medical students.

The Milan Fashion Week continued as scheduled but many who attended the event were worried about their health in the midst of the outbreak and many flying out of the country as soon as the fashion week ended in fear of a potential travel ban. The level of concern surrounding the virus lead to Giorgio Armani’s late-night decision on Saturday to host the show for his Fall 2020 collection and half the auditorium was empty with many concerned with the virus. The Conde Nast Milan office closed, advising all workers to work from home to prevent possibly contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

Paris is seeming less precautious over the virus as the 10 days of runway shows start tonight with Paris’s Fédération de la Haute Couture de la Mode plans on operating, as usual, stating that they are in constant contact with health authorities and are ready to follow any and all advisories.

According to PR representatives confirm Paris Fashion Week will continue and they will be updating attendees if there are any upcoming concerns. The venue Chambre Syndicale had several plans for PFW shows including Masha Ma, Shiatzy Chen, Jarel Chan, and Calvin Luo but recently announced these shows are canceled and opted to support the brand through social media with live-streaming and posting on their channels through Douyin and Weibo.