Designers, models and fashionistas flocked to Madrid on Thursday where Europe’s first major fashion week is being held in front of audiences for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Madrid’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week begins, taking the sector’s first steps towards normalcy after a devastating year for the fashion industry.
“The digital format will still be there, but our goal is to bring the event back live when the health situation allows,” event director Nuria de Miguel told El Pais newspaper.
This doesn’t really go back to pre-pandemic times as the audience around the catwalks will be limited to around 190 people, around 24% of the total capacity, to ensure social distancing.
This event will also provide FFP2 masks to all involved and make employees carry out a rapid test. Seven shows will be held exclusively online.
Most of the 22 runway shows took place at IFEMA, Madrid’s main convention center, which was the site of the country’s largest pandemic field hospital less than a year ago.
“Our goal is to energize the entire fashion sector. The fact that the designers wanted to keep the runway firsthand despite how difficult it was last year has shown that this show is important for sales, communication and visibility, ”said de Miguel.
According to the Spanish fashion association, Acotex, the Spanish fashion sector experienced a 47% drop in sales in the year leading up to February 2021.
“The prohibition on gathering in large groups for lunch and dinner and the absence of events and celebrations virtually discourages people from buying dresses, suits or accessories that they will not show off,” the association said on its website.
Madrid’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the ensuing Madrid Es Moda event have received support from the local government, despite the increasing coronavirus infections.
The Madrid region reported 2,790 new cases on Thursday, up more than 200 from the same day last week.
Intensive care units in the capital region are under more pressure than anywhere else in the country, with 38% of beds currently occupied by COVID-19 patients.
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