How Luxury Fashion Is Stepping Up to Combat Coronavirus
From hand sanitizer and mask manufacturing to hospital donations.
In the midst of the coronavirus's spread across the globe, luxury fashion houses are stepping up to do their part.
Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior, is hoping to aid French health authorities by manufacturing hand sanitizer and providing it to them for free. According to CNN, LVMH said it will use all the production facilities of its perfumes and cosmetics brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel, or hand sanitizer.
The gel will then be delivered to French health authorities and the Assistance Publique-Hospitaux de Paris, a network of teaching hospitals that treats more than 8 million patients every year.
"Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus," the company said in a statement to CNN.
According to Women's Wear Daily, LVMH has also donated $2.3 million to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.
Elsewhere, Business Insider reported that Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli have donated two resuscitation and complete intensive care units to each hospital in Milan, Italy — where coronavirus (which causes COVID-19) cases have caused emergency measures nationwide.
COVID-19 and efforts to stem its spread have had a severe impact on several industries, including fashion. Last month, Giorgio Armani opted to hold his Milan Fashion Week show in an empty theater via livestream in an effort to safeguard public health.
Kering, which owns Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Gucci, also announced plans to donate $2.3 million to relief efforts while similarly dedicating its facilities to fighting the spread of the pandemic by making much needed masks. A statement on the website explains, "In the days ahead, Kering will provide the French health service with 3 million surgical masks, which the Group will purchase and import from China."
Outside of its parent company, Gucci has begun a social media initiative called "We Are All In This Together" to encourage donations from followers. On March 27, Gucci will also use its accounts to amplify messages from the World Health Organization.
Across the Atlantic, American designers are doing their part as cases in the United States quickly rise.
On March 20, designer Christian Siriano offered to make masks for workers in New York State. "If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help," he wrote on Twitter. Governor Cuomo responded saying he was in touch with Siriano and asked, "who's next?"
On March 26, designer Ralph Lauren announced a donation of $10 million to the World Health Organization. A statement from the Ralph Lauren brand explained, "Now more than ever, supporting each other in this time of need has become our mission. As we face this global challenge together, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is committing $10 million to help our teams and communities around the world."
This story is developing and will be updated as more information is available.