Luxury fashion in Italy and around the world is being impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
In northern Italy—the country’s epicenter of fashion—clothing and textile factories are in quarantine for at least another month. Luxury fashion houses, including Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Giorgio Armani have been left in limbo after the government-sanctioned quarantine was imposed over the country. Brands are doing what they can while under quarantine—Armani donated €1.25 million to hospitals in Rome and Milan, while Bulgari donated a new-generation microscope to Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital.
Last February, companies in China including Tesla and Apple announced doors would shut to their stores across the country. Now, luxury shopping malls are beginning to reopen in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, which should bring relief to the economy, which is home to the largest amount of luxury spenders in the world. While the market has taken a hit over the lack of shopping in China, there are also product shortages due to the factories being shut down that are affecting countries around the globe that rely on them.
Collections and product launches have been postponed or halted as the world fights Coronavirus. Prada scrapped its Tokyo show, Austin canceled SXSW, and Tesla has postponed its Model 3 deliveries. Brands and tech conferences alike are now turning to digital debuts—Microsoft plans to hold its MVP Global Summit online, for example. In the age of social media companies are able to easily reach consumers and deploy content and updates, according to a Gartner report on the topic.
The swift changes brought about by Coronavirus are forcing brands to adapt, and while many luxury labels are facing stalled production or canceled showcases, maintaining a digital presence could uphold consumer loyalty in this time of uncertainty.