MILAN — Runway shows continued apace on the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week as the itinerant fashion crowd took an analytical attitude toward the cases of the virus from China clustered not far away in northern Italy.

Milan city officials closed offices as a precaution as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grew in an area just an hour outside of the fashion capital. Milan is the capital of Italy’s Lombardy region, which reported 39 confirmed cases tied to a single patient.

While there was chatter at runway shows and other Fashion Week events about the rapidly spiking infections, health worries remained remote enough.

“For the moment the situation is under control,’’ the president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa, said.

‘’It doesn’t seem to me, in this moment, for what regards our sector, our fashion week, that there are signs of danger,’’ Capasa said. ‘’We are tranquil and prudent.’’

Still, MIDO, the world’s largest eyewear industry fair, announced Saturday that it would postpone the gathering scheduled Feb. 29 to March 2 until June, due to concerns over the virus.


‘’The evolution of this health crisis under way in our country does not leave any doubt over our decision,” MIDO president Giovanni Vitaloni said in a statement.

While the virus clusters didn’t cause undue health concerns at Milan Fashion Week, fashion houses remain worried about the longer-term economic impact. Chinese consumers at home and abroad are responsible for one-third of global luxury sales. The Italian fashion chamber has already forecast a 2 percent contraction in first-half revenues.

‘’I think we have to live day by day because it is beyond our control,’’ Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of the late Salvatore Ferragamo, said at the brand’s Saturday’s runway preview. ‘’We try to do our best with heart and head, everything in order to get over this.’’

He said the brand is maintaining close contact with its people in China.

‘’I think that if we are very ‘foot on the ground,’ we will benefit later,’’ Ferragamo said.

Giorgio Armani also expressed longer-term uncertainty ‘’We don’t know when we will be able to breath a sigh of relief,’’ the designer said.

Armani said the challenge for businesses won’t end when the virus stops spreading. At that point, a fashion companies will need to renovate stores and ‘’again create enthusiasm among the people,” he said after the Emporio Armani preview Friday.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.