thousands of fashion managers, celebrities, influencers and models travel between the world fashion capitals every year to attend fashion shows, and are linked to a multi-million dollar economy, including the injection of investments and the boost in tourism spending in New York and London. Paris and Milan.
And for the second season in a row, the epidemic wipes out all that, and almost all shows will be virtual, as they were last September, luxury hotels that are usually filled with the finest fashion shows will be nearly empty, clubs and local venues will not welcome many who attend night parties, museums, galleries will be Art is like ghost towns, and upscale shops will lose money pouring in from the deluge of shoppers willing to pay thousands to buy a dress or handbag.
After accounting for the impact of all this, the four cities will lose more than $ 600 million in economic activity this season, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Here’s a look at what’s happening on the ground in the four major fashion centers as the sector gears up for a lost second season.
It was a mixed start this year for London as the rapidly mutating strain of the virus forced a third lockdown. Then the distribution of vaccines raised hopes that another catastrophic spike in infections could be avoided.
The British Fashion Council is holding a digital-only event that begins on February 19, showcasing women’s and men’s clothing by 95 designers, including names such as: Victoria Beckham.
FashionUnited’s Business Intelligence estimates that London Fashion Week typically brings more than 269 million pounds ($ 374 million) to the city.
Oxford Economics estimates that 240,000 jobs, which represent a quarter of the workforce in the British fashion sector, were lost due to the epidemic, and when calculating indirect jobs, the outcome rises to 350,000 jobs.
In 2011, the owner of the nightclub, Carlo Carrillo, organized a fashion week party for Roberto Cavalli at the Battersea power station, and now, he has had to fire 80% of the staff at Raffles, a popular venue in the upmarket Chelsea neighborhood.
“We used to make a lot of effort every night of the week,” Carrillo says of the times before the pandemic. “We usually had 2 or 3 parties in Fashion Week … and the epidemic is destroying businesses like ours.”
Another distress looming over the UK fashion industry, which is making things worse, is Brexit. Walpole, which represents luxury brands like Burberry, says small fashion brands have been discontinued. On dealing with the European Union at the present time because there is an “incomplete understanding” of the fees that must be collected from one country to another, adding that Britain is now alone.
When the fashion shows start this year in Milan on February 23, they will be completely virtual, with the exception of some divisions invited by a limited number of buyers and media, where social distancing measures are applied, and the opening night will be a live party on “Instagram” with a DJ instead of Loud festivities attended by people directly in a city that suffered the worst loss of life from the epidemic last spring.
To maintain the city’s participation in the event; The Italian Fashion Room will place large screens in strategic locations in central Milan to allow passers-by to view live performances of icons such as “Armani”, “Prada”, “Fendi” and “Dolce & Gabbana”.
“It will be a symbolic gesture, and a reminder to Milanese that fashion is still part of everyone’s life, that it is flexible despite the Covid crisis and is still able to embody the city’s values: creativity and efficiency,” said Carlos Capasa, Chairman and CEO of the Fashion Chamber.
In past years, each of the four fashion weeks in Milan brought about 30 million euros in spending in places such as hotels and restaurants. Kapasa expects income to decrease by at least 80%.
Shortly after the February shows ended last year, New York City became the epicenter of the global Coronavirus pandemic, killing tens of thousands, and a resurgence in late-year cases in the northeastern United States caused renewed restrictions on businesses in Gotham, despite That infection rates have recently begun to decline again, New York Fashion Week, which began last weekend, is being held by default.
There are more than 100 events on the calendar ranging from committees to presentations on live broadcasts, along with a few DVDs that involve in-person attendance, and as always, Rebecca Minkoff, Jason Wu and more than a dozen young designers will be participating as the Council of Blacks in Fashion shines. In Fashion Council) highlight them.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America expects this spring to be more difficult than last fall.
“We will all face great challenges this season – even greater than last season – as the world increasingly struggles with a devastating epidemic and economic recession,” Tom Ford, chairman of the board, wrote in a speech to the sector.
The state’s Joint Economic Committee said that New York Fashion Week usually generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, surpassing the revenues of the US Open Tennis Championships, which the city also hosts every year, and during normal times, the two events attract about 150,000 visitors who fill hotels. Manhattan, they ignite the nightlife, and they spend a lot of money.
A year ago, Nicholas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton set up the fashion runways inside the Louvre, a mega-show described by veteran fashion filmmaker Loic Brigitte as “the last of the great shows in times free of Covid-19”.
Gone are the days when celebrities used to gather in the front lines at the most visited museum in the world, and this time, Paris Fashion Week for Women’s Fashion will be an online event, starting on March 1.
The French Fashion Institute estimates that Paris Fashion Weeks were generating 450 million euros a year before the pandemic.
Pascal Morand, chairman of the Federation of Couture and Fashion Federation and organizer of the party, said that although no estimates have been issued since the epidemic hit, the number has decreased as expected.
Christophe Laure, chairman of UMIH Prestige, a lobby group for the hotel industry, said that five of the 12 leading hotels in Paris called palaces are currently open, despite occupancy rates of 5%. And 15%, and those mansions during Fashion Week before the Coronavirus are open, and between 80% and 100% of their rooms are reserved, and Lore says, the situation is “very worrying.”
Morand said that perhaps the only advantage of the epidemic is that it made there a kind of democracy in accessing shows thanks to them being set up for everyone in digital format, which the numbers prove.
The Louis Vuitton men’s fall fashion show by fashion designer Virgil Abloh in January 2020 was seen less than 500,000 times on the brand’s YouTube page, while the 2021 show was more than twice that number.
Morand looks forward to the day when traditional fashion shows return, because the digital experience “will not completely replace” the feeling of being there.