People wearing masks and carrying supplies walk past a mannequin wearing a mask in downtown Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Spain's prime minister has announced a two-week state of emergency from Saturday in a bid to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People wearing masks and carrying supplies walk past a mannequin wearing a mask in downtown Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Spain's prime minister has announced a two-week state of emergency from Saturday in a bid to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Fashion takes a back seat as coronavirus invades the runway

By Gerry Cupido Time of article published Mar 16, 2020

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This morning my inbox was flooded with emails from PR companies informing me that all product launches, season previews and upcoming events have been cancelled.  

An empty venue after an event has been cancelled. Picture: AP

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, and even before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement, I had already decided that I had no intention of attending any of the events. 

As a fashion and beauty writer attending events provides an opportunity to learn more about new products before they even hit the market, have a peek into the next season’s fashion trends and just as important to connect with like-minded people in the industry. 

This past weekend Africa Fashion International made the decision to cancel all the Cape Town Fashion week shows scheduled for the last day, Saturday. Even though designers were still able to show their collections, they presented it to an empty venue. 

Empty seats on Saturday at the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week shows. Picture: Supplied

Rows of empty seats. No front-rowers. No designers taking a bow to applauds of appreciation. No fashionistas in carefully planned outfits. No shots for the Gram.

The fashion and beauty industry might seem superficial to most but for people like myself, it’s a job, a form of income, like any other. 

Cancelling an event means no work for models, makeup artists, photographers, stylists, caterers just to name a few.

As a writer how will I be able to report on a fashion show I haven’t seen, introduce or comment on new products that I haven’t tried?

Nobody wants to put their health and that of others at risk, so obviously no one would attend any functions, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to miss them.

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