Can­cel­la­tions leave vac­uum in their wake


MY IN­BOX was re­cently flooded with emails from PR com­pa­nies in­form­ing me that all prod­uct launches, sea­son pre­views and up­com­ing events have been can­celled.

An empty venue after an event had been can­celled.

In light of the coro­n­avirus out­break, and even be­fore Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s an­nounce­ment, I had de­cided that I had no in­ten­tion of at­tend­ing any of the events.

As a fash­ion and beauty writer, at­tend­ing events pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to learn more about new prod­ucts be­fore they hit the mar­ket, have a peek into the next sea­son’s fash­ion trends and con­nect with like­minded peo­ple in the in­dus­try.

Last week­end, Africa Fash­ion In­ter­na­tional made the de­ci­sion to can­cel all the Cape Town Fash­ion week shows sched­uled for the last day, Satur­day.

Even though de­sign­ers were still able to show their col­lec­tions, they pre­sented it to an empty venue. Rows of empty seats.

No one in the front row. No de­sign­ers tak­ing a bow to ap­plauds of ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

No fash­ion­istas in care­fully planned out­fits.

No shots for the Gram.

The fash­ion and beauty in­dus­try might seem su­per­fi­cial to most but for peo­ple like my­self, it’s a job, a form of in­come, like any other.

Can­celling an event means there is no work for mod­els, make-up artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, stylists, cater­ers to name just a few of the many peo­ple af­fected.

As a writer, how will I be able to re­port on a fash­ion show I haven’t seen?

How will I be able to in­tro­duce or com­ment on new prod­ucts that I haven’t tried?

No­body wants to put their health and that of oth­ers at risk, so ob­vi­ously no one would at­tend any func­tions, but that doesn’t mean we’re not go­ing to miss them.

PEO­PLE wear­ing masks and car­ry­ing sup­plies walk past a man­nequin wear­ing a mask in down­town Barcelona, Spain. | AP

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