Today in Events: LVMH Cancels Young Designers Cocktail Party, James Beard Foundation Announced Restaurant and Chef Award Seminfinalists, Proposed and Affordable New Airplane Seating Arrangements Could Make Flyers More Comfortable

1. LVMH CANCELS YOUNG DESIGNERS COCKTAIL PARTY: The cocktail party to toast the 20 LVMH Prize for Young Designers semifinalist appears to be the latest event wiped out by the coronavirus scare. Organizers of the get together, which was scheduled for Wednesday night at the luxury conglomerate’s headquarters in Paris, decided to cancel the affair, though participants will show their collections on Thursday and Friday. WWD: “In a brief statement, LVMH gave no reason for the cancellation, although it comes on the same day that France recorded its first death from the coronavirus. Six Chinese brands have scrapped their planned events in the French capital because of the outbreak, and scores of editors from China and elsewhere are skipping the season.”

2. JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES RESTAURANT AND CHEF AWARD SEMIFINALISTS: The James Beard Foundation announced Wednesday the semifinalists for its prestigious 2020 Restaurant and Chef awards. The list includes several familiar faces such as chefs Missy Robbins, Misti Norris, Gabriel Rucker, Jeremiah Stone, and Fabián von Hauske. However, for the first time, the awards include the regional changes made last year, which added California, Texas, and New York State as standalone categories. Food & Wine: “Come March 25, each category will be culled down to five finalists each, and the winners will be announced at the annual gala in Chicago on May 4. The Media Awards winners will also be announced on April 24, per the foundation’s website, and the Leadership Awards are scheduled for May 3.”

3. PROPOSED AND AFFORDABLE NEW AIRPLANE SEATING ARRANGEMENTS COULD MAKE FLYERS MORE COMFORTABLE: It’s been the stuff of comedy, as well as recent online battles. Rows of airplane seats in coach class feel squished together, a sensation that heightens with each passing year. An entrepreneur, who is a frequent flyer, has created a prototype for a new, budget-friendly seating configuration. The Points Guy: “Enter Zephyr, a new wide-body aircraft seat prototype designed to eliminate most of the frustrations of coach class misery. The seats offer business-class privacy and comfort at premium economy prices. ‘We should not be having these ridiculous discussions about asking permission to recline a seat or get to the bathroom,’ said Jeffrey O’Neill, who designed the Zephyr … ‘Why are we even giving airlines the option to tell us how we can and cannot travel?' O’Neill told The Points Guy. ‘Privacy should be accessible and affordable, and [airlines] should improve their customers’ in-flight experience.' The Zephyr utilizes a double-decker design in a 1-2-1 configuration to offer aisle access for every single passenger while providing privacy for free.”