MERCEDES-BENZ Fashion Week Australia is the latest event to announce its cancellation over the coronavirus crisis.
“Due to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)’s mandate against holding non-essential, organised public gatherings of more than 500 people in light of global health concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), we regret to share that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2020 will not take place,” Natalie Xenita, Executive Director of IMG’s fashion events group for the Asia-Pacific region said in a statement released this morning.
“We thank our incredible designers, producers, partners and staff for their support of the Australian fashion community and look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2021.”
The news will come as a blow for IMG and the dozens of established and emerging designers preparing for the industry event, which was to be its 25th anniversary and the first time the event would be open to the public.
Bassike, Ixiah, Ginger & Smart, Mariam Seddiq and We Are Kindred were among the labels set to show at the annual event, held at CarriageWorks.
The news comes following the cancellation of the remainder of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival last week.
The event’s anniversary will now be celebrated next year.
The company said it would be refunding registration and ticket fees as soon as possible.
Designers including Alice McCall have thrown their support behind the cancellation.
“I strongly support IMG’s decision to cancel MBFWA and look forward to making a return to the schedule in 2021,” McCall said following the announcement.
Other arts, music and cultural events such as Vivid Sydney and The Sydney Royal Easter Show have also been cancelled or postponed in recent days, following a nationwide ban on mass gatherings of more than 500 people as the rate of COVID-19 cases rise around the country.