SYDNEY — Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia’s 25th–anniversary edition has been canceled, according to organizer IMG.
The showcase of Australian Resort 2021 collections had been due to run from May 11 to 15 at Sydney’s Carriageworks venue.
“Due to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)’s mandate against holding non-essential, organized 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,” said Natalie Xenita, executive director of IMG’s fashion events group for the Asia-Pacific region, in a statement on Tuesday morning Sydney time — a day after the introduction of the Australian federal government ban. “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.”
All tickets already sold to MBFWA shows taking part in the new MBFWA: The Experience initiative will be reimbursed as quickly as possible, according to IMG. In November, IMG said it was trialing an integrated consumer strategy at this year’s event, which was due to see 25 percent of seats at participating shows available for purchase by the public.
MBFWA’s Spring 2021 showcase joins a growing list of global fashion weeks and events that have either been canceled or postponed, due to the rapidly worsening coronavirus crisis, which has infected 181,377 people worldwide, with 7,119 deaths and 78,085 people recovered, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University data.
Major Australian events canceled prior to the introduction of the ban included the weekend’s Australian Formula One Grand Prix and the Melbourne Fashion Festival, both of which were abruptly canceled on Friday — with a day and a half of the Melbourne Fashion Festival’s 2020 program yet to go at the time.
At time of writing there were almost 400 confirmed Australian COVID-19 cases — double the number on Friday — with five deaths.