The Milanese label headed by Donatella Versace is the latest fashion business to contribute funds to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to support the effort to end the coronavirus outbreak. “My heart goes out to those affected by the Coronavirus and their families,” she said in a statement. “Versace is donating ¥1 million RMB (about $143,500) to help with the relief effort. We are sending our love and support, and I urge everyone to help by donating to groups on the ground that assist those in need.” It’s likely that the funds will be used to address the medical supplies shortage in the region.
Versace’s parent company, Capri Holdings, which also owns Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, has taken a not insignificant financial hit as a result of the ongoing crisis. According to information shared with some investors and reported by CNBC, the company’s annual revenue forecast has been slashed by $100 million, a figure tied to the 150 store closures and wide travel bans––which limit tourist spending––implemented as a result.
But it is not alone in the industry when it comes to being affected by the worsening health crisis. Both Adidas and Nike have closed several stores and operate with reduced hours where they remain open. In a statement, Nike remarked that “in the short term, we expect the situation to have a material impact on our operations in Greater China,” while noting that its digital business is still robust. Many brands nowhere near the center of the outbreak are also affected by the interrupted supply chain in the manufacturing hub.
Not even the media business is left unscathed. The start of fashion month has had several international events rethink strategy as a large contingent of Chinese editors and publishers (not to mention buyers and clients) will be unable to attend the runway shows. But roadblocks to conducting business as usual are a necessary safeguard. To date, the novel coronavirus has killed 560 people.