Tokyo Fashion Week was originally scheduled to take place March 16 through March 21 — this year would have accounted for the second showcase under new title sponsor, Rakuten. The Tokyo event isn't the first to be affected by coronavirus, however, as fashion weeks in Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul have been postponed or canceled. Milan Fashion Week was wrapped early due to an outbreak in Northern Italy.
“I am sorry for the designers [who] looked forward to their shows,” Japan Fashion Week Organization (JFWO) Director Kaoru Imajo told BoF. He also added that JFWO will aid in bringing attention to designer collections through online visibility.
BoF points out that local designers will seemingly be the ones most impacted by the cancellation of Tokyo Fashion Week, as the event's attendees are predominantly industry insiders including buyers. Imajo revealed, however, that showrooms will continue to support brands, while others will show off-schedule.
“It’s a good opportunity to consider new ways to do shows or showrooms digitally... so that [brands] can reach more audiences from all over the world,” said Maiko Shibata, creative director and buyer of Tokyo-based boutique Restir.
She went on to add that it may be difficult for some brands to fill their orders as there will be less global exposure due to the cancellation of Tokyo Fashion Week.
For more on the impact coronavirus is having on the global fashion industry, follow here.