A look from Han Wen's Fall 2020 collection staged at the "China, we are with you" event in Milan.

LOVING CHINA: As the coronavirus outbreak is trapping Chinese designers and fashion folks in the country, the Italian Camera della Moda officially kicked off Milan Fashion Week on Tuesday night with the “China, we are with you” initiative showing the local fashion world’s solidarity with the affected country.

As reported, the project aims to involve members of the Chinese fashion community through live-streaming of the shows on Tencent-owned platforms, including WeChat, dedicated social media platforms, including a brand new Weibo account, and the creation of ad-hoc videos, backstage content and interviews enabling buyers and designers to partake remotely in the fashion experience.

“This initiative was created to share a message of closeness, trust and strength. In a moment of crisis the fashion world has to stay united and build bridges and not walls. We decided to use technology to bring the experience of Milan Fashion Week to the Chinese world,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian fashion chamber.

Further stressing its commitment, the association struck a deal with Chic Group, a real estate developer, financial analyst and brand management consultancy, which has been supporting Chinese designers through its Fashion Town in Xi’an and its network of multibrand stores called Il Parco.

Through the Sino-Italian Fashion Town project, the Chinese group brought eight Chinese designers to Milan, who showcased their collections at the Camera’s Fashion Hub incubator, installed at the Permanente museum. They included Emma Sweet, Xun Ruo, Leaf Xia and Dot Minute, among others.

Leading the pack, New York-based Chinese designer Han Wen staged a formal runway show, marking the official inauguration of the initiative.

“Italy is an exporting country, it’s a country that thrives on openness, on free trade, on fair trade and that’s when Italy is successful. We’re not a country of raw materials, the materials brought [here] are transformed into the wonders of what we call Made in Italy and that everyone around the world wants to buy,” commented Ivan Scalfarotto, deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

“What we’re experiencing these days with the virus and the stopping of flights around the world is what happens to our country when we’re not in the position to trade with everyone else around the world. So we should keep this in mind and remember that the role of Italy should always be within openness, free trade and exchange with others,” he added, sharing the Italian government’s closeness with the Chinese people.

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