VIRTUALLY TOGETHER: As Italy continues to grapple with the second wave of COVID-19 cases and trade shows are banned until at least March 5, a number of the country’s leading fashion fairs have jointly revealed they will forgo their upcoming physical editions and host digital shows instead.

In particular, organizers of leading footwear fair Micam; accessories and leather goods trade show Mipel; Lineapelle, dedicated to the tannery industry, as well as TheOne Milano and the Homi Fashion&Jewels Exhibition are planning to replicate the Stronger Together initiative that debuted last September, this time in a digital-only format to be rolled out in the next few weeks.

The group originally planned to hold IRL shows on March 20 to 24 at the same time and under one roof, the Milano-Rho fairgrounds, with the goal of improving the overall attractiveness of each fair.

Even though the Italian government has yet to decide on the fate of physical trade shows after March 5, organizers jointly said it is unlikely they will be able to organize the fairs in just three weeks and guarantee the same quality level and attendance of foreign buyers.

As reported, in compliance with the government mandate, White Milano also will host a digital-only event at the end of February, while Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Pitti Bimbo were forced to cancel their upcoming IRL editions and stick to virtual formats.

Committed to physical gatherings, other prominent Italian trade shows have all pushed ahead their dates. Mido is scheduled for June 5 to 7, while international furniture and interior design trade show Salone del Mobile is slated to take place Sept. 5 to 10.

Last week, beauty trade fair Cosmoprof said the show was rescheduled to run Sept. 9 to 13 instead of May due to concerns from associations and industry operators about the development of the pandemic.