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Omicron Halts Fashion Companies’ Return-to-Office Plans – WWD

Don’t expect to see people applying to their offices full time.

Due to the rampant popularity of the Omicron variant, some fashion companies are taking a wait-and-see attitude and delaying returning their employees to the office.

In total, about 1.1 million new coronavirus cases were reported Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread across the United States. The Omicron variant was responsible for 95.4% of new COVID-19 cases in the US last week, according to estimates released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If the pandemic had taught us whatever it is, we need to be flexible and adapt quickly to the changes it brings. We will continue to evaluate our plans as new information becomes available over the next several weeks and will share any updates as needed as we approach the week of January 18 when we expect it to be. start planning, slowly return to the office,” said one PVH A spokesman for Corp.

A spokesperson for Tapestry Inc. “Out of an abundance of caution, prioritizing the health and safety of our residents, we have just moved the official return date of New York/New Jersey from January 10 to February 1 from January 10,” said. . While offices have been and will continue to be open with enhanced safety precautions if employees choose to come in, our hybrid working model will go into effect on February 1.”

The fashion industry is not alone in delaying the return to the office. Banks such as Goldman Sachs, Citi and JP Morgan have delayed capital recovery and allowed employees to work remotely for the first few weeks of 2022, as have many major tech companies, including Apple and Google.

Shoshanna Gruss, founder and creative director of Shoshanna, said: “If there’s one thing the past 22 months have taught us, it’s that we have to adapt; What we are doing today may need to be changed tomorrow.

“We are currently following the CDC and New York City Small Business Guidelines for any direct work. Our entire team is set up to work remotely and they come to the office when needed. We were fortunate to have completed our last market just before Omicron spread in early December. Being a small team gives us the flexibility to make some of the larger decisions closer to the date. We will review our plans for our February market appointments and trade show travel at the end of the month. ”

Jane Siskin, founder and CEO of Cinq a September, said the company is taking the following precautions: “We predict that 2022 will be an important year for Cinq ah September Like As COVID-19 cases spike in New York, we are taking precautions to create a safe work environment for our employees. We are expanding our office in January to two floors to ensure social differentiation as our team continues to expand. The new office will have two galleries and a photo studio. We understand the importance of creating content for the web and social media and are prioritizing this.”

Siskin said they are hoping to continue holding appointments with retailers at their showroom for the fall of 2022. “Over the past few months, major. Stores have returned to direct market appointments and specialty stores are traveling to New York for major collections, but not pre/smaller deliveries. Our business in the Dallas and LA markets is stronger than ever – it’s a great opportunity to meet specialty stores that don’t come to New York every season.

Siskin noted that the company has multiple live events planned for the first quarter with key retailers. “We will do” a decision [this month] if these events will take place in a live or virtual form. We love visiting stores because it’s a time to connect with customers and store associates and hear their feedback. “

A spokesperson for Ungaro and designer Kobi Halperin (who also has a brand with the same name) said: “We’re back in the office, but with the option of working from home. Most of us have returned to the office physically.” He said the market is still scheduled to open as scheduled on February 8.

He noted that the design team Ungaro and Kobi Halperin still plan to visit Première Vision in Paris from February 8 to 10, and that they will show Ungaro during Paris Fashion Week in March. They will also be exhibiting the Kobi Halperin brand to European customers during the same period.

“Of course, all of that could change in the event that things change worldwide,” he said.

Susan Sokol, co-founder of High Alchemy, a New York-based showroom that represents 30 brands from luxury to contemporary luxury, said its employees have been back in the office since May. June 2020 when the city opens “and never leaves”.

Since they have so many samples in their showroom, they felt it was important to meet them in person. At first, 99% of their appointments are virtual, but by September 2021, 50% are in-person, which is encouraging, Sokol said. The market this past December, however, was 90% virtual, which Sokol attributed to the holiday period when retailers from smaller specialty stores had short staff and wanted to be on the sales floor. .

She currently feels that New York Fashion Week should be pushed back one week, which would affect all global fashion weeks. With many believing the next two weeks could be the peak of the virus in the US (through January 20), she believes things will get worse, based on what CDC health officials and the Biden administration is saying, “and then things will slow down.”

While she believes New York Fashion Week could be causing the problem, she feels that Coterie’s coming very late this year (February 27-March 1) is good and specialty stores Smaller properties will feel safer in New York. Her company, she said, would normally travel to Europe at the end of February, but not this year. “Right now for us as a gallery, we feel more comfortable traveling within the US and doing trunk shows and visiting stores,” said Sokol said, noting that its 2021 business is back to where it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, Council of Fashion Designers of America, in partnership with IMG, is closely monitoring the current COVID-19 surge and is working with local and state officials to ensure the health and safety of all individuals participating in New York Fashion Week.

“We understand the impact of the Omicron variant on logistics, staffing and planning weeks ahead of time and will support each brand’s individual decision as it relates to February’s programs,” the CFDA said. them,” the CFDA said in a letter it will send Wednesday to Fashion Calendar Subscribers.

For those planning to host live demonstrations and presentations during February, the CFDA recommends following IMG’s COVID-19 health and safety plans, established last September. . It will require all individuals entering the performance venue to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with state and federal law, requiring the wearing of a mask indoors at all times, except except for designated dining areas or for runway-walking models, and it is recommended to reduce occupancy at performance venues with adequate space. Outside, IMG added that its updated immunization policy will require a booster shot of COVID-19 for all who are eligible to receive it. Those not eligible as of February 12, 2022 will be able to continue to participate with verification of their immunization status.

Spring Studios will be the headquarters of NYFW: The Shows.

Spring Studios is the headquarters of NYFW: The Shows.
Courtesy of NYFW: The Shows

Leslie Russo, IMG’s president of Events and Fashion Properties, added: “As we navigate fashion week for the fourth time since the pandemic began, we are adjusting our plans in time. in real time to ensure the health and safety of our communities, while continuing to protect the industry’s ability to conduct our collective business. IMG has set the precedent for a safe, incident-free return to New York Fashion Week and will continue to work closely with the CFDA and our city and state leadership to guide The designers, guests, consumers and countless workers that NYFW employs, through our most important activities safely collect biennial. ”

The CFDA says it will continue to support the US fashion community as brands decide which approach is best for their business. Runway 360 continues to be the central virtual home of New York Fashion Week as it has been throughout the pandemic. “As we continue to navigate the flexible nature of the pandemic, we will update the above if the situation changes in the coming weeks,” the CFDA said.

FOR MORE STORY:

COVID-19 spikes retail concerns

AlixPartners on Retail’s Roller Coaster and Reset Agility

CFDA, IMG Outline Health and Safety Guidelines for NYFW

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/sportswear/omicron-fashion-companies-return-to-office-plans-1235022068/ Omicron Halts Fashion Companies’ Return-to-Office Plans – WWD

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