Milan and Paris to hold men's fashion week in virtual format

Milan and Paris will hold their own men's fashion weeks in July in virtual format to avoid the risk of coronavirus contagion, organizers said on Wednesday.

Italy's national fashion chamber, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), announced the first "Milan Digital Fashion Week" to be held in mid-July, saying brands will present men's spring/summer 2021 collections and men's and women's pre-collections on a digital platform with photo and video content organized in a calendar with slots for each label.

The move was taken to help companies reach out to buyers and promote their brands without person-to-person contact that risked spreading the coronavirus anew, as the fashion industry has been hard hit by coronavirus-induced closures of shops and the halt to international travel.

Fashion groups may also decide to join shows and presentations planned for the September women's fashion week, which for the time being is still planned to include catwalks and non-digital events.

Giorgio Armani Group said separately on Wednesday that the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani men's and women's collections would be shown in Milan in September, although the format has not yet been determined.

Similarly, Paris will hold a men's fashion week in virtual format from July 9 to July 13 for the men's spring/summer collections 2021. In late March, organizers said they had to cancel the men's and haute couture fashion weeks in Paris because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"This event will be structured around a dedicated platform," the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said in a statement. "Each house will be represented in the form of a creative film/video."

The decisions echo one by the British Fashion Council to merge womenswear and menswear collections for June's London Fashion Week into one platform and present them in digital form only.

(With input from Reuters)

(Cover image: Models walk on the runway during the Gucci menswear show at Milan Fashion Week, January 14, 2020. /AP)