COVID-19 or Coronavirus is causing severe disruption in the fashion industry, as runway shows are being canceled in huge numbers. The World Health Organization has declared the situation a global health emergency.
According to WHO, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
Coronavirus outbreak timeline-
-December 2019- The coronavirus first sickened people in Wuhan(China), detailed research found that SARS- CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans, and MERS- CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
-January 2020- China reported its first death from an illness caused by the virus, the death report came just before China's biggest holidays, with the coming of New Year, when hundreds of people travel across the country. Soon there were cases confirmed in outside mainland China, including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand according to the World Health Organization's situation report. Wuhan was soon closed off by Chinese authorities, they canceled planes and trains leaving the city.
-January 30- A public health emergency of international concern was officially declared by WHO, people were asked to avoid traveling to China, and countries for the safety of their public canceled all the flights connecting China.
Fashion industry- The most celebrated fashion weeks of the fashion industry- the womenswear shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris were overturned by the spread of Coronavirus, which spread to Italy when the shows were just beginning there. The virus is spreading rapidly globally, which is further leading to a negative impact on the fall 2020 fashion month season. Models and designers were seen posting pictures in a mask on their social media accounts, fashion magazines and fashion industry asked their employees to better work from home.
The Giorgio Armani's women's Fall/Winter 2020/2021 fashion show was organized in an empty theatre. The 'cruise' season, brings influencers, editors, major clients, to locations across the world, and is held in spring. But looking at the severity of coronavirus numerous brands like Gucci, Burberry, and Prada have already canceled their cruise shows. The cancellation is leading to a major loss for the brands as the cruise shows are an opportunity for them to get clients and bring their latest collections in the eyes of the audience, along with these factors they are also a major resource for the stores to revive their stocks in-between season.
Most luxury brands are not available online, only 9% of the luxury good transaction took place over the internet according to a 2019 report found.
Designers are canceling and resetting their shows, Ralph Lauren canceled his April show, which was going to display its fall 2020 collection. Giorgio Armani decided to Livestream his show, from an empty room to the audience on the final day of Milan Fashion Week.
Beauty industry- China fulfills manufacturing needs for many luxury beauty companies, but with the outbreak of coronavirus, there is a disruption in the supply chain, leading to a decrease in revenue and sales. Witnessing the negative impact on sales due to the virus many brands are scrapping their outlook plans for the second quarter in 2020, many cosmetic specific shows and expos have been canceled. The factories have to be closed down for some time, which further leads to less production and a slow market. The companies are making significant donations towards finding an effective treatment and aiding in global epidemics such as this.
Coronavirus death toll globally crossed 3000, the fact that the virus is going to impact on the economy of the country cannot be changed, economic slowdown, trade, supply chain disruption, commodities, and logistics can be witnessed.
India is highly dependent on China, in imports. Around one-third of machinery and almost two-fifths of organic chemicals that India purchases from the world come from China. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the import dependence of India on China will have a major impact on the Indian economy.
-Coronavirus has let to shut down in China, and that will affect the Indian textile and apparel industry.
-The shutdown is leading to a major issue for Indian manufacturers who are dependent on the supply of raw material from China. But this can also be a benefit for India, as the global apparel brands will look out for alternate manufacturing destinations such as India.
-Due to the prevailing situations, China won't be able to fulfill imports of cotton yarn and hence this will divert India's surplus cotton yarn to the domestic market, reducing the prices of cotton yarn.
-Indian garment manufactures will have to look at other alternatives if the outbreak continues in China. Searching for vendors on such short notice can take a toll on lead times, cost and quality.
-According to an article from The Economic Times, the Indian government, by the end of January 2020 banned exports of all personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks to avoid any shortage of it in India, the government is taking every possible initiative to protect the public from this severe virus. But India a few days later decided to help China battle this disease by lifting this ban.
-There can be a positive impact on India as well. January is the month when buyers from the USA and Europe visit China to negotiate with garment exporters for the next season, but due to coronavirus shut down in China, buyers are in search of alternatives.
-One factor that still works in China's favor is that numerous companies have already produced their spring-summer garments because workers often go on a break around Chinese New Year, so during this time companies plan for a production slow down.
-If the situation stays the same for the next few months, buyers will be forced to explore other options such as India and Bangladesh.
The Indian fashion industry is also facing difficulties, shows are being canceled or postponed, recently the Fashion Design Council of India called off its Bi-annual fashion show, the Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week in association with EBIXCash. All the preparations were done for the event which was going to take place from 11th-15th March at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, but as the virus enters the country, the organizers decided to step back and take proper precautions. Keeping the public health above money, the Fashion Design Council of India announced the postponing of the event.
According to the World Health Organization, the common signs of infection include fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. The infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
To prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, sanitizing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking the non-veg before eating it, mainly eggs and meat. Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness is a must.