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Tom Ford Cancels New York Fashion Week Show

A wave of omicron infections at his design studio and Italian factories has forced Tom Ford to scrap plans to show his Fall 22 collection at New York Fashion Week next month.

The designer, who is also the chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), said in a statement he will not be able to have his collection ready for a runway production that was expected to close NYFW on Feb. 16.

“We have struggled internally over the past month with many of our staff out with Covid-19 in our design studio and atelier in Los Angeles as well as in our factories in Italy,” Ford said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter, which is owned by Sourcing Journal parent company PMC. “We have tried everything possible to avoid canceling our New York show, but ultimately are faced with the sad fact that we will simply not have a completed collection in time for New York Fashion Week.”

Instead, the fashion icon will present his collection digitally when it is ready. NYFW, which is organized by the CFDA, is scheduled to open on Feb. 11.

From the outset, the pandemic has limited the number of shows occurring during several seasons of New York Fashion Week, but many designers have found ways to show their collections to limited audiences or by live streaming them online. Some, like Armani, have prepared to mount a show just to cancel in the wake of pandemic difficulties.

For the upcoming array of fashion shows, strict restrictions, such as a proof of vaccination and wearing of masks, are in place to protect NYFW attendees from getting infected.

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Tom Ford Blames Covid-19 in Cancelling New York Fashion Week Show
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford spring/summer 2022 fashion show at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021.

Many shows are going forward. Still on the calendar are runway presentations for Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Herve Leger, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung, Tory Burch and Christian Siriano.

NYFW is just one of several live events facing challenges and changes because of the pandemic. The Sundance Film Festival, normally held every January in Park City, Utah, went virtual this year. And the Grammy awards have been shifted from March to April. The National Retail Federation, however, hosted its annual Big Show at Manhattan’s Javits Center earlier this month despite New York City’s high infection rates.

Tom Ford is one of the top names in U.S. fashion, with a long history of creating award-winning looks. In 1994, the 60-year-old was named the creative director at Gucci. When Gucci acquired Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, Ford also became the creative director of that label as well.

After many year of designing for the European brands, Ford left in 2004 and a year later started his own self-named label. He also started his movie production company, Fade to Black, and in 2019 directed his first film, “A Single Man,” starring British actor Colin Firth.