Giorgio Armani cancelled his runway show at Milan Fashion Week on Sunday due to fears over the spread of coronavirus.
A representative for the Italian fashion house released a statement earlier in the day announcing that the fall/winter collection 2020 would not take place in front of an audience, with models set to walk down the runway in an empty Armani showroom instead.
The show was streamed live on the luxury label’s website and social media channels, and designer Giorgio Armani, 85, was spotted arriving at the venue wearing a face mask.
“The decision was taken to safeguard the wellbeing of all his invited guests by not having them attend crowded spaces,” they commented.
Officials in Milan have reported 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 11 towns in northern Italy have been placed into quarantine, following the deaths of three people.
The rest of the runway shows scheduled on Sunday went ahead as planned, and executives at the Italian National Fashion Chamber said there were no indications from health chiefs that cancellations were necessary.
Armani’s decision comes after fellow Italian fashion house Prada postponed its resort 2021 show in Japan amidst coronavirus concerns, while Chanel has also canned its repeat Metiers d’Art show in Beijing, China, as the virus continues to spread around the world.
Experts have warned that the outbreak is nearing a “tipping point” and could become an uncontrollable pandemic, as the disease has infected more than 79,000 people and killed around 2,600.
Italy and Iran have introduced stringent travel restrictions in an effort to contain the virus, and South Korea has been placed on red alert.
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