In the face of global Coronavirus spread, we’ve entered some pretty rough times. As authorities urge citizens to stay home and practice social distancing, we’re left with Covid-19 closures, a tightening self-quarantine vice, and a gnawing sense of anxiety over what is to come. Even more pressing than our fears and worries, however, is a rapidly draining supply of medical equipment needed to save those infected with the virus — from ventilators, to protective face masks.
In response, luxury fashion brands worldwide have heard the call, and are mobilizing to combat the disease — a promising reminder that at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. As fashion weeks are cancelled and the industry comes to a halt, designers and labels are working hard to help those who need it most. From large, multinational comolgermates diverting their resources to make healthcare products, to brands putting their apparel production on hold so they can provide assistance to the needy, we’ve rounded up the key names in luxury fashion that are stepping in to help.
Armani Makes Medical Overalls
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Armani — the group behind brands including Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani — has plans to send single-use medical overalls to the frontlines. The overalls will be produced in Armani’s Italian factories, with the aim of protecting healthcare workers combating the disease. In recent weeks, the eponymous designer and founder Giorgio Armani has also donated $1.4 million to various hospitals and health organisations in Italy, including Bergamo and Piacenza.
Find out more about Armani’s initiatives against Covid-19 here.
Ralph Lauren Donates $10million: “In the spirit of togetherness, we rise.”
Marking the largest donation sum a luxury company has pledged to the Covid-19 cause so far, Ralph Lauren has set aside $10 million to aid in coronavirus relief efforts. The funds will be channelled into supporting communities around the world that have been affected by the pandemic, through financial grants such as the Emergency Assistance Foundation and its Pink Pony Fund, along with the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Part of the total sum also went towards producing 25,000 isolation gowns for healthcare staff and 250,000 protective face masks. Ralph Lauren also dedicated an amount to support the Vogue Fashion Fund — a helping hand extended towards fashion designers who’ve been hit by the economic fall. As said in a statement on the brand’s Instagram page, “In the spirit of togetherness, we rise.” Find out more about Ralph Lauen’s initiatives against Covid-19 here.
Gucci Calls on the #GucciCommunity for Crowdfunding
In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, Gucci calls on the #GucciCommunity to launch two crowd-fundraising campaigns, alongside a donation of 2 million euros. Accompanying the campaigns is a “We Are All In This Together” call-to-action, represented by an illustration depicting a person with their hand to their heart — a symbol of solidarity, gifted by Rome-based artist MP5. Within the 2 million, half went towards supporting the efforts of the National Civil Protection Department in Italy, in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo. The other half of the funds were channelled into supporting the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organisation.
Those in Thailand who wish to participate and make a donation to the Solidarity Response fund for WHO can do so via this link.
Saint Laurent and Balenciaga Produce Face Masks
Also under Gucci’s parent company Kering Group, Yves Saint Larent and Balenciaga will be manufacturing face masks to distribute to French health services. As announced by Kering Group, the production of these masks will adhere strictly to health protection measures, with materials and the manufacturing process approved by relevant authorities. The group as a whole has pledged to donate 3 million surgical masks to health institutes, together with a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur to support research on Covid-19.
Prada Makes 80,000 Medical Overalls
As face mask and medical overall supplies continue to rapidly dwindle, Prada enters the fray, committing to produce 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 face masks — all of which will be sent out to support medical institutions in the region. To produce the items, Prada is utilising its factory in Montone, which the brand has kept in operation for this sole purpose.
Bvlgari Produces 100,000 Bottles of Hand Gel
Following the lead of parent company LVMH, Bvlgari has intensified support towards the fight against Covid-19, by producing and donating thousands of bottles of hand gel. Teaming up with trusted fragrance partner ICR, over 100,000 hand sanitizer bottles have been produced, and will be distributed through the Italian Civil Protection Department. According to the brand’s twitter, the production of these gels will “continue as long as it takes to keep the people safe.”
Burberry Uses Trench Coat Factory to Make Surgical Gowns
Burberry steps in to support the fight against Coronavirus by donating over 100,000 surgical masks — provided by a global supplier — along with non-surgical gowns and facial masks produced in-house, at the label’s trench coat factory. Alongside these supplies, the designer label has also set aside funds to support vaccine research that is happening in Oxford University, as well as charities including FareShare and The Felix Project, which are offering aid to communities affected by the outbreak.
Mulberry Delivers PPE Equipment for NHS Frontline Workers
Mulberry has begun producing re-usable PPE gowns in its Somerset factories, to support NHS frontline workers via the University Hospitals Bristol, and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. Made using a fluid-resistant, washable material sourced by the brand, Mulberry hopes to produce over 8,000 gowns in the coming weeks. The gowns can be laundered and safely used multiple times for non-surgical use, and follow with government-issued guidelines for PPE equipment.
On top of that, Mulberry is also supporting their local Bristol ‘Scrub Hub’ — a network of voluntary community groups making scrubs for NHS staff using state-of-the-art machinery. The brand has also raised over 75,000 euros via its Coronavirus Appeal in support of the National Emergencies trust, since its launch in March. Raised funds will be distributed by the National Emergencies Trust to local UK charities and support groups, who can effectively and efficiently support communities and individuals in need.
Mayhoola Donates €1 Million to Fight Covid-19
Valentino and Balmain’s parent company Mayhoola has recently announced it will be making a €1 Million donation to the fight against the coronavirus. Parts of the funding will go towards building an emergency field hospital in the Madrid Exhibition Center in Spain. The temporary healthcare facility aims to accomodate 1,300 patients suffering from Covid-19, and will help to improve the way Madrid is handling the health emergency. On top of that, Valentino has also donated a million euros of its own, to assist in pandemic relief efforts.