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How coronavirus infected Milan Fashion Week

The impact of the health emergency has caused great fear and economic loss

How coronavirus infected Milan Fashion Week The impact of the health emergency has caused great fear and economic loss

Perhaps its many residents and international visitors who have filled the city's venues in the last few days don't remember it, but Milan brings in its DNA memories of epidemics and infections, among the "Infamous Column", chapels dedicated to the dead of the ancient plague and streets named after Gian Giacomo Mora, falsely accused in the 1600s of being the a plague sower. Just under four centuries later, that same fear has returned to fear the city, after Italy became the western country with the highest number of Coronavirus infections, with the largest outbreaks located on the outskirts of Milan, the first four deaths among the older and weaker and a climate of generalised unrest that also influenced the closure of Milan Fashion Week Women's FW20.

The surgical mask has really been confirmed as the accessory of the month. Searched almost with desperation in all the pharmacies of the city and appeared both among the members of the audience of the Dolce & Gabbana show and on the face of Bella Hadid, who was immortalized herself while wearing one on her flight departing from Milan. Giorgio Armani and Laura Biagiotti instead decided to have their shows run behind closed doors in livestream, with Armani also imposing a stop on his factories starting today while Tod's has opened a fund to assist its employees and their families for any needs related to the emergency of the contagion. Also closed were Luxottica' plants, licensees of Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Miu Miu, among others, for the production of eyewear.

Among the cancelled events was the abrupt closure of the Moncler Genius Project, an exhibition route consisting of twelve installations that would have been one of the most visited by the public yesterday; the presentation of the Michael Kors x 007 Bond capsule that franchise actress Naomie Harris was supposed to attend with Capri Holdings CEO John Idol is also suspended. The Jaguar x Baracuta event, also scheduled for yesterday, was also cancelled, ending this Fashion Week on a bitter note. This climate of fear has made the future of the coming months uncertain, with one of the main industry events in the field of eyewear, the MIDO, postponed to a date to be allocated and some hidden fears about the fate of Design Week this year. 

But in the midst of so many anxieties, cautions and neuroses, there was the strong voice of Miuccia Prada, who when asked by a journalist about how she felt about communicating the entry of Raf Simons into her maison on a day of generalized panic as the one yesterday told WWD:

Life is not a [walk in the park] and so we must work also if ugly, difficult things happen, we must react”.

The week that opens today will be perhaps one of the most unusual in recent years for Milan. A week in which supermarkets and pharmacies are stormed, public transport is empty, cinemas and bars are closed along with stadiums and museums. Two city symbols, the Duomo and the Scala Theater, are off-limits and a banal gesture like a sneezing attracts terrified glances from the most fearful members of the public. A week in which many students and workers will stay at home and hotels, drivers, retailers and restaurateurs of all kinds will suffer severe economic losses. It will also be a week in which our patience, our calm and our rationality will be tested. It remains to be seen how well we will endure that test.