Jessica Kahawaty calls PFW trip into question over virus fears

The Lebanese model and activist is having second thoughts about attending the fashion shows in Paris due to coronavirus concerns. (File/Getty)
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Updated 25 February 2020

Jessica Kahawaty calls PFW trip into question over virus fears

  • The fashion community is being extra cautious in a bid to mitigate the spread of the virus.

DUBAI: Following an outbreak of coronavirus, or Covid-19, just outside of Milan, the fashion community is being extra cautious in a bid to mitigate the spread of the virus.

As Milan Fashion Week came to a close on Sunday, many worried guests changed their flights out of the Italian city in fear of a potential travel ban — at least 10 nearby towns were already under quarantine — while others resorted to different modes of transportation to Paris. Some, like Bella Hadid, who decided to take an airplane, opted to wear respiratory masks. Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani made a last-minute decision to host Sunday’s Fall 2020 show in front of an empty auditorium on account of the virus.

While such extreme precautions have not reached Paris just yet, a worried Jessica Kahawaty, who was noticeably absent from Milan Fashion Week, took to her Instagram Stories to share that she is having second thoughts about attending the fashion shows in Paris due to coronavirus concerns.

“I am scheduled to fly to Paris this weekend for work during Paris Fashion Week. However, given the current developments surrounding coronavirus, I am contemplating cancelling the trip,” the Lebanese-Australian model wrote to her one million Instagram followers.

“I know I have a lot of followers in Europe and in the region, so I wanted to hear your sentiments as I’m a bit worried. It’s easier to hear a perspective if you’re in an affected city or country as the news may inflate certain stories,” she added alongside a poll with two options: “Stay in Dubai” or “go to Paris.”

“I hope everyone in Milan is okay and for anyone affected worldwide,” she concluded, with the prayer hands and red heart emojis.

Despite Kahawaty’s concerns, it seems that Paris Fashion Week is business as usual. Shows are continuing as planned and the event kicked off with ten runway shows on Monday.

However, on Monday evening, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s Chambre Syndicale announced that planned Paris Fashion Week shows by Chinese designers Shiatzy Chen, Masha Ma, Calvin Luo and Jarel Chan would be canceled.

Instead, the brands will show off their latest collections via livestreams on social media. 


Shoe designer Amina Muaddi pays tribute to footwear legend

ordanian-Romanian designer Amina Muaddi boasts one of the most sought-after footwear labels in the world. (File/Getty)
Updated 11 min 56 sec ago

Shoe designer Amina Muaddi pays tribute to footwear legend

DUBAI: Following the death of footwear legend Sergio Rossi due to complications related to COVID-19 on Friday, Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi took to social media to post a heartfelt tribute to the designer.

“RIP to the legend that Sergio Rossi was and will forever remain,” she wrote in a lengthy statement shared with her 427,000 Instagram followers, revealing that it’s “such a sad day for her, the fashion industry and for women across the globe who he has graced with his creations for decades,” which include the likes of Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ariana Grande. “My sincerest condolences to the Rossi family for their loss,” she continued.

“When I went to the Sergio Rossi factory in December because I was going to start producing my collection in their factory, I was taken to the museum built in his honor inside the factory,” she recalled. “I felt so much emotion going through his incredible work and looking at the archives that I could barely focus on my meeting. The legacy he left behind is immeasurable. Thank you master, may you rest in peace,” she captioned the series of images of herself donning Sergio Rossi footwear.

Tributes poured in for the luxury shoemaker who died aged 84 in the small town of Cesena in central Italy.

US fashion influencer Olivia Palermo wrote: ““We lost a true creative force in the accessories world today. My thoughts are with the Rossi family, friends and team at this difficult and unprecedented time.”

“Sergio was one of the main forces in Italian manufacture and design. I met him years ago and he was so charming — he contributed so much, he was a major talent and very important,” said famed footwear designer Manolo Blahnik. “He had an incredible flair for what is current, he produced wonderful things. It’s an enormous loss for the shoe industry.”

Italy has recorded more deaths from coronavirus than any other country in the world, with 13,915 fatalities as of Thursday, Reuters reported. 

Rossi was born in 1935 in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy, where he founded his brand. 

He remained at the helm of his label until 2004, when it was sold to Kering. Shoemaking remained a vital part of Rossi’s life, with his son Gianvito Rossi launching his own footwear collection in 2006. “Addio Maestro,” Gianvito posted on Instagram with a picture of his father after the news of his death.