LONDON — Instead of its usual March schedule, the upcoming edition of Shanghai Fashion Week has been postponed to April 6 to 13.
According to a document from the Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee sent to designers and trade fair operators, seen by WWD, the committee decided to postpone the event, which had been scheduled for March 25 to April 3, to roughly two weeks later, citing hopes it would allow more brands, designers, buyers and press from around the world to travel to Shanghai safely in time.
“We will do our best to provide business opportunities and quality services to participants of Shanghai Fashion Week, and present a high-quality and productive platform for exchange and display, drive the city’s economic development through collaborative innovation, and dedicate to the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party with a safe and efficient fashion event,” the committee added.
A spike in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases ahead of the Chinese New Year in the city’s central Huangpu District, where the fashion week Xintiandi main venue is located, has raised the alert level to medium. It means residents must provide negative nucleic acid test results within seven days to leave the area. International arrivals to Shanghai are also required to quarantine in hotel for 14 days.
Several designers based in the U.K., Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia told WWD that since it’s been over a year since they visited China due to the pandemic, they have decided to go through with quarantine and physically attend the fashion week in Shanghai, enjoy the freedom of dining at restaurants, and nights out until 3 a.m.
A number of trade fair organizers expressed concerns as the leases for their big venues were signed long ahead of the date change announcement. The concern is that they might have to look for smaller places and make last-minute changes to host all the brands if the original venues are not available throughout the new dates.
A few showroom owners added they were worried the delivery window might also get delayed in accordance with the postponement. Some designers are already seeing delays with international fabric, which could compound problems in the delivery for the fall 2021 season.
The majority of designers and organizers expressed less worry about the rising COVID-19 cases, as strict quarantine and track and testing are in place to curb the spike in locally transmitted cases. Shanghai on Friday reported seven new cases, part of 93 new cases in China, according to a government channel.
Shanghai Fashion Week said it has measures in place to protect fashion week attendees. The city successfully held a full-fledged physical fashion week in October, while the rest of the world was dealing with a severe second-wave outbreak.