Chanel and Prada postpone shows in Asia owing to coronavirus

PARIS/MILAN (Reuters) – Chanel and Prada said on Tuesday they have postponed fashion shows due to be held in Asia in May over concerns linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

Chanel said in a statement that following the guidance of Chinese authorities it had decided to postpone its Beijing replica of a catwalk display held in Paris last December “to a later and more appropriate moment.”

Chanel was monitoring the situation closely, it said, adding: “At the foremost are the health and well-being of its teams and clients”. No new date was given for the event.

The show was a presentation of its so-called “Metiers d’art collection”, a showcase of its most intricate craftwork and handstitched outfits.

The Paris event had featured a set designed by film director Sofia Coppola, inspired by the apartment where founder Coco Chanel had lived in the early 1900s.

Chanel, one of the world’s biggest luxury brands by sales alongside LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Louis Vuitton, did not disclose any financial details for the show.

Prada said in a separate statement it had put off its Prada Resort fashion show in Japan, originally scheduled for May 21.

The Hong Kong-listed group said the decision had been taken as a precautionary measure as well as “an act of responsibility and respect” for all those working on and planning to attend the show.

“Japan remains one of Prada’s strategic markets and relevant events will be scheduled in the country at a more appropriate moment,” it said.

Asia, and China in particular, are an important and lucrative market for major fashion companies including Chanel, Prada, LVMH (LVMH.PA), Kering (PRTP.PA) and Burberry (BRBY.L).

Luxury goods companies are already facing a sales hit from the coronavirus outbreak as they shutter shops in China and shelve advertising campaigns in the world’s second-largest economy. Chinese shoppers account for a third of the luxury goods industry’s clientele.

Gucci and other luxury labels owned by France’s Kering last week said they expected smaller crowds at their catwalk shows this month, with Chinese buyers and influencers set to miss the major marketing fixture.

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