Kingpins cited rising cases of COVID-19, travel restrictions to the U.S. and low vaccination rates in some denim-producing countries to its precautionary decision to cancel its first on-site show in two years. | Photo courtesy of Kingpins
As of Thursday, September 2, 2021
Originally scheduled to take place Dec. 6–7, Kingpins New York has been canceled, show producers announced Sept. 1. Citing a rise in COVID-19 infection rates, low vaccination on a global scale, potential travel restrictions and a bleak outlook from health experts, Kingpin’s organizers made the difficult decision to suspend the New York edition, which would have been the brand’s return to the show floor by hosting an on-site event for the first time in two years.
“After careful consideration and with a heavy heart we have decided to once again cancel another physical show due to the current pandemic situation,” said Andrew Olah, founder of Kingpins, in a statement. “The New York show would have marked two years between physical shows, and we were eagerly looking forward to welcoming back the denim community in the USA. We thought our show would be an ideal time to kick off the Christmas season, rejoicing in the belief that the pandemic was behind us.”
Kingpins noted a study from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center that showed low vaccination rates in many denim-producing countries including Egypt, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Tunisia, where 3 percent to 15 percent of citizens in each nation have been vaccinated. As the pandemic continues to affect countries around the globe, citizens from these nations could be subjected to lockdowns. Kingpins also foresees a potential rise in cases within the United States due to children returning to school and colder weather forcing people indoors, which could possibly increase the risk of the virus’s transmission.
“We do not wish to be half a show or a shadow of what we used to be. We do not wish to risk renewed travel restrictions barring exhibitors from entering the country for our show,” Olah explained in a Kingpins newsletter. “We want our physical shows to come back as close as possible to what they once were—and this cannot happen under the current conditions.”
Kingpins will continue to produce virtual editions through Kingpins24, host online seminars and share information digitally. The brand’s virtual editions of Kingpins24 Global will be held Oct. 19–21, and Kingpins24 Latin America will be hosted Nov. 9–10. Kingpins also recently launched its new series, “Kingpins Stories,” which allows readers to connect by sharing their thoughts on the industry with the denim community.