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Armani shows in an empty room as coronavirus hits Milan

Lauretta Roberts
23 February 2020

Giorgio Armani showed his AW20 collection in an empty room during Milan Fashion Week today having advised guests to stay away due to the coronavirus outbreak reaching Italy.

Armani's show is usually the grand finale of Milan Fashion Week, as he is always the last major designer to show, but the house issued a statement saying: “Giorgio Armani would like to inform you that [the] Women’s Fall Winter 20-21 show will be shown behind closed-doors, due to the recent developments of coronavirus in Italy."

The show had been due to be staged twice at 4pm and 5pm on Sunday 23 February in his Teatro Armani custom-built show space on Via Bergognone. Instead guests were told to stay away and the show was staged once and live-streamed on the Armani website with images posted directly to Instagram.

Armani Coronavirus

Armani with models at the end of the AW20 show

At the time of writing (Sunday 23 February), Italy had confirmed 132 cases of coronavirus and two deaths. Schools in Milan have been closed while social and sporting events in Lombardy and Veneto have also been cancelled. Cases of the virus are said to have risen dramatically in the past two days with Italians in the north of the country braced for what could be weeks of shutdown.

Armani explained in an Instagram post: "This is a preventative measure decided by Mr Armani to support national efforts in safeguarding public health."

The coronavirus has proved hugely disruptive to the fashion industry on a global basis with many brands closing large numbers of stores in China until the outbreak is contained. Stock and samples have also been stuck in the country while high-spending Chinese tourists have not been travelling to European capitals where they have been some of the highest spenders on luxury fashion. Read our coronavirus analysis here.

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