With the COVID-19 outbreak not showing signs of slowing down in many parts of the world, numerous industries have responded to the crisis by pooling their resources to contain the spread, and to assist the straining healthcare systems. Luxury fashion houses have stepped up to do their part too, with many of them making large donations, and converting their ateliers into workshops for making masks, hand sanitisers, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We’ve compiled a list (that will be constantly updated) of your favourite fashion brands who are working hard to flatten the curve.
Dior reopened one of its Baby Dior official ateliers in Redon to start a continuous production of new masks. The workshop, which typically makes high-end baby clothes, is run by the maison’s petite mains, referring to its talented team of seamstresses who are working on a volunteer basis.
Versace donated €500,000 to support two organisations: San Raffaele Hospital for critical aid, and the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana for its “Italia, we are with you” project that provides ventilators and medical equipment to the country’s hospitals. This is in addition to the 1 million yuan donated in February to support the Chinese Red Cross Foundation. On a personal note, Donatella Versace, Chief Creative Officer of Versace, announced that she and her daughter, Allegra Versace Beck, have donated €200,000 to the intensive care unit of San Raffaele hospital in Milan.
After pledging a new state-of-the-art 3D high definition microscope to Spallanzani Hospital, Bvlgari is manufacturing hundreds of bottles of hand cleansing gel sanitisers with its fragrances partner, ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi). These will be provided to all medical facilities through the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection Department).
Chanel has recently announced that it has started producing protective masks and blouses in its workshops in France. It has also donated €$1.3 million to an emergency fund for the hospital system in Paris.
Gucci has made two separate €1 million donations to crowdfunding campaigns. In Italy, a nation struggling with a high death toll, shortage of medical equipment, and depleted healthcare workforce, €1 million was donated to the National Civil Protection Department to bolster health services and source for new ICU beds. The other million was donated to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which works to speed up the creation of vaccines and therapies, and supply protection devices to healthcare workers. It is also producing 1.1 million masks and 55,000 pairs of medical overalls.
Burberry has pooled together its resources to support people impacted by COVID-19. Some of these initiatives include facilitating the delivery of surgical masks, non-surgical masks and gowns to medical staff members and patients, using its trench coat factory in Yorkshire to create non-surgical gowns and masks for patients, and providing funds to research a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford slated to begin human trials this month.
Moncler has donated €10 million to the Fiera Hospital project. The pop-up hospital in the former Fiera Milano area will house more than 400 intensive care units to help support an overwhelmed health system.
Michael Kors the brand has donated US$1 million, while the designer himself and John Idol, CEO of Michael Kods, have made personal donations totalling US$1 million. These will go to relief efforts in New York. Beneficiaries include two of New York City’s largest hospital systems for emergency patient care, financial relief and clinical research, God’s Love We Deliver to fund meals for the city’s vulnerable suffering from serious illnesses, and A Common Thread, CFDA Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief to offer aid for struggling businesses in the fashion industry.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana has funded a research project by Humanitas University and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University to clarify the responses of the immune system to Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. These findings will go towards diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to the virus. “Even a very small gesture can have enormous significance. Supporting scientific research is a moral duty for us, we hope our contribution will help to solve this dramatic problem,” the designer duo explained.
Prada has delivered 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks to healthcare personnel in the Tuscany region. These were produced internally at the Prada factory in Montone (Perugia). Co-CEOs Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli have donated two ICU units to three different hospitals in Milan.
The Armani group converted four of its Italian production sites to produce single-use medical overalls for frontliners. Designer and founder Giorgio Armani initially pledged to donate €$1.4 million to various hospitals and health institutions in Italy, before deciding to contribute to hospitals of Bergamo and Piacenza, and the Versilia hospital in Tuscany, totalling his entire donations to €$2 million.
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation allocated US$10 million for emergency relief efforts. These go towards manufacturing and donating 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns to frontliners, World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to tackle the pandemic, the Emergency Assistance Fund that will aid Ralph Lauren employees with medical, elderly or childcare needs, and the CFDA fund to support the American fashion community. “Our hope is to continue to be the beacon of optimism and unity that Ralph Lauren and our brands have always been to the world,” said the brand in a statement.
French luxury house Louis Vuitton has also joined the ranks of many fashion houses producing gowns in its ready-to- wear atelier at its headquarters Paris’ rue du Pont Neuf.
Twenty volunteers are creating gowns in AP-HP approved fabrics and patterns, which will then be frontline workers in six Parisian hospitals of the “Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris.”
In the following weeks, more volunteers will come forward to work from home, and together with those in the ateliers, will up the number of gowns produced for the healthcare workers at the hospitals.
“We are proud to be able to help healthcare professionals at our level and put our know-how at the disposal of the Hôpitaux de Paris to create gowns for medical staff. I would like to thank the artisans of our atelier who voluntarily participate in this civic act and who have been bravely applying themselves since this morning to equip healthcare workers in hospitals who are in need of gowns ”said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO, during his visit to the workshop.
The Zegna group has also announced that it aims to make 280,000 units of protective hospital suits for the Piedmont Region (250,000 units) and Canton Ticino (30,000 units). Production is already underway and the group has converted a portion of its INCO plant in Novara and CONSITEX in Mendrisio to accommodate the suit production.
The Biella textile district and Unione Industriale Biellese responded swiftly to Zegna’s appeal and they are all working closely with the Piedmont Crisis Unit and Canton Ticino relevant authority to make sure that production is hastened in order to meet the need for these hospital suits.