It's dire times. There's no denying that the COVID-19 virus has blanketed the world with gloom and doom for the next (hopefully, just) few months. Businesses big and small, and in varying sectors, have been hit hard. Countries are in temporal lockdowns, enforcing stay-home guidelines. Retail stores have ceased operations for the time being in order to protect both customers and their frontline employees. And work-from-home arrangements are the new normal.
This is serious.
In the luxury industry, many companies have decided to halt production and manufacturing for two weeks at a time. This is no doubt a cost-cutting measure, but one that's also aimed at 'flattening the curve'—a term that's been heavily used in the media, and basically means slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in order to alleviate stress on medical assistance and capacities—by reducing the need for people to gather in groups. Companies such as Rolex and Rolls-Royce have announced suspension of their production, while closely monitoring the situation.
While it does seem rather bleak, it's also in times of crises like this that we see some brands and companies stepping up positively. The luxury fashion industry is not just ceasing store operations in countries where numbers of cases are spiking; measures have been put in place as well as monetary donations have been pledged to help in the fight against COVID-19. No matter the scale, every positive action certainly counts.
The Italian brand has announced on 17 March 2020, that it will commit EUR10 million to the Fiera Hospital project initiated by the region of Lombardy of which Milan is the capital. The project will see the construction of a hospital that's equipped with over 400 intensive care units, in the ex Fiera Milano area.
Chief creative officer of Versace, Donatella Versace, and her daughter Allegra Versace Beck are pledging a donation of EUR200,000. The amount will go to the intensive care department of Milan's San Raffaele hospital, one of the city's private hospitals. Additionally, the brand donated 1 million renminbi to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help with shortage of medical supplies in the country.
On 17 February 2020, Dolce&Gabbana announced a support and funding of a scientific research project in tackling COVID-19. The project is led by professor Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of Humanitas and emeritus professor of Humanitas University in Italy, and in co-operation with virologists Elisa Vicenzi and Massimo Clementi of San Raffaele Vita-Salute University. Both Vicenzi and Clementi are credited as the first in Italy to isolate the pathogen responsible for 2003's SARS outbreak.
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The online retail company has donated it Premier Delivery Service fleet to charity. Vehicles that are part of this fleet will now serve as vehicles to help seven local Age UK charities in London. This will allow the charities to deliver critical essentials to those in need, such as the elderly, as they stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. Additionally, the company has also donated 100 laptops and created digital education content packages for the Italian Ministry of Education to aid in homeschooling for the country.
The company has pledged the funding of two resuscitation and complete intensive care units to each of the following hospitals in Milan: Sacco, San Raffaele, and Vittore Buzzi.
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#LVMHjoinsforces Given the risk of a shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault instructed the LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics business to manufacture within their production sites as much gel as needed to support the public authorities. Since Monday, the gel has been delivered free of charge daily to the French health authorities and as a priority to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. The LVMH Group would like to express a special THANK YOU to all those who made it possible, in particular to our exceptional production teams from @guerlain, @diorparfums and @givenchybeauty who have shown great solidarity and engagement in a spirit of collective effort for the common good. The Group and its Maisons are extremely proud and humbled to do their part in the fight against COVID-19 and to help those whose mission is to protect and care for others. As such, we will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities. #Coronavirus #COVID19 #APHP #staysafe #StayAtHome #COVID2019france #LVMH #LVMHtalents #Guerlain #ParfumsChristianDior #DiorParfums #Dior #GivenchyBeauty #Givenchy
Aside from donating 16 million renminbi to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, the French luxury conglomerate also announced that the LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics business will begin to manufacture quantities of hydroalcoholic gels for France. The gels have been distributed for free to French health authorities, with priority going to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. LVMH has pledged to continue doing so for as long as it is necessary. As of the week of 23 March 2020, LVMH will also be providing at least 40 million surgical masks to French authorities, over the course of the next four weeks.
Shoe designer Giuseppe Santoni has started a GoFundMe campaign with the aim of raising EUR500,000 to support Italy's Marche region by equipping the hospitals with ventilators. Santoni himself has donated EUR50,000.
The Della Valle founding family of Tod's, and on behalf of their employees, has allocated EUR5 million to support family members of health personnel who lost their lives in the fight against COVID-19.
The eyewear manufacturer and its roster of brands are tackling COVID-19 in various countries by dedicating factories and facilities to help in equipping frontline health workers.
In Italy, part of Safilo's manufacturing facilities have been producing safety glasses and face shield to be supplied to Italian hospitals. The company has stated that after a first batch of 5,000 units of each, Safilo will be producing more to support Italy's health workers.
Polaroid is donating 5,000 medical protection masks to 19 hospitals in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo and Valencia.
In the US, Smith has joined Goggles for Docs, a movement that supports local and national personal protective equipment shortages across the country. Smith is providing used and new ski goggles to healthcare workers who have no eyewear protection while treating COVID-19 patients. The brand is also supporting Colorado mountain bike manufacturer Yeti Cycles in producing face shields, by providing 4,000 yards of goggle strap material.
Blenders Eyewear has donated 10,000 goggles to Southern Californian hospitals, all of which have been made by a portion of its manufacturing chain. It has also partnered with Direct Relief to provide an additional 20,000 pairs of goggles to other high-need regions in the US. Furthermore, 5 percent of all of the brand's sales throughout April will go towards the cause.
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During these unprecedented circumstances, it’s more important than ever that we stand strong together to support our people, communities, and industry. The PVH Foundation is committing $1M toward COVID-19 relief, including a $100,000 donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund created by the @UNFoundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, benefitting @WHO. #WeArePVH #COVID19Fund. Click the link in our bio to read more. #COVID19Fund
The fashion and lifestyle company—its portfolio of brands include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger—announced on 30 March that it's committing USD1 million towards COVID-19 relief. This includes USD100,000 donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund that was created by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. Additionally, the company has also started shipping more than 2 million units of Personal Protective Equipment—isolation gowns, masks, face shields and the like—to Montefiore Health System in New York. The company has also donated to several other funds and charities that support relief efforts.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani reportedly donated EUR1.25 million to various hospitals in Italy.
The Parisian brand has produced safety masks using excess fabric stock from its previous collections. 10,000 masks have been distributed to non-medical hospital staff. In addition to face masks, Sandro has been offering breakfast every Friday to hospital staff in several cities such as Madrid, Paris, London, Berlin and New York.
The pre-owned fashion platform has organised a charity sale with pieces donated by style icons such as Kate Moss, Thandie Newton, Anna Dello Russo and Carine Roitfeld. All proceeds from the sale, including all of Vestiaire Collective's commissions from it, will go to various organisations including The World Health Organisation, the France/Paris Hospitals Foundation, and Madrid's La Paz Hospital.
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Respect. Responsibility. Courage. In a time of unprecedented hardship, where we are confronted with our vulnerability, it is crucial to rediscover the humanity that distinguishes us, our sense of brotherhood and the courage and strength to support each other. We want to be part of the rebirth of Italy which is why Sergio Rossi chooses to take concrete action by supporting the hospital ASST Fatebenefratelli – Sacco in Milan with a donation of € 100,000 and by launching a challenge to all women who have loved wearing our collections over the years. From the 14th to the 20th of March, 100% of the proceeds made on SergioRossi.com will be donated to support the fight against Covid–19. A shoe can make a difference. #ShoesMakeAdifference #IoRestoAcasa #StayHome
Italian shoemaker Sergio Rossi has donated EUR100,000 to the ASST Fatebenefratelli—Sacco hospital in Milan. And from 14 to 23 March 2020, 100 percent of proceeds made from online purchases through SergioRossi.com will go to helping to fight COVID-19.
The Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome received an unspecified donation amount from Bulgari. This allowed for the purchase of a new 3D microscope (reportedly worth around EUR100,000) that will be an ideal tool for studying COVID-19 infections at a cellular level. This also marks the first microscope of its kind that will be installed in Rome. The brand is also manufacturing and delivering several hundreds of thousands bottles of hand sanitisers to all medical facilities through the Italian Civil Protection Department.
In Tokyo, the Bulgari II Ristorante Luca Fantin has been supporting hospitals in Tokyo with the 'Lunch Box' project. Lunch boxes containing healthy and delicious food will be delivered twice a week to hospitals and medical institutions that are fighting the disease in Japan.
Burberry is taking multiple approaches in helping to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Part of it includes facilitating the delivery of masks to healthcare workers using its own global supply chain network, reworking its trench coat factory in Castleford, Yorkshire to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients, as well as funding the research by University of Oxford on a vaccine.
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“At Zegna we believe our actions today will shape our tomorrow. The pandemic we are all facing is a call for people around the world to take action. Each of us must do our part, in every way possible, to stop this global emergency”, says Gildo Zegna, CEO. The Zegna family, together with the Group’s top management have pledged personal donations to the Civil Protection in Italy totalling 3 MILLION EUROS. This donation is in support of the nurses, doctors, scientists and volunteers across Italy who have been working tirelessly to fight this epidemic. The Zegna Group will also convert a part of its production facilities in Italy and Switzerland to the manufacturing of masks, that will provide critical supplies to both Zegna’s employees and to the wider needs in these countries. The Zegna Group has also made a direct financial contribution to provide several hospitals with ventilators. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and we join in the appeal to people in affected areas to stay at home and remain safe. UNITED, WE WILL MAKE IT.
Members of the Zegna family, as well as the Zegna Group's top management, have pledged personal donations amounting to EUR3 million towards Italy's healthcare workers. The Group's manufacturing facilities in Italy and Switzerland will partly contribute to making medical masks, as well as protective hospital suits for medical staff with the aim of producing 280,000 units . Additionally, the Group has already made direct donations to several hospitals to provide them with necessary ventilators and medical masks.
Parent company of luxury brands such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta, Kering, announced a donation to the Red Cross, specifically in the Hubei province. The 7.5 million renminbi donation will be used to help frontline prevention and control, as well as training and public health education. Additionally, Kering will be providing around 3 million surgical masks to French health authorities, while two of its brands—Balenciaga and Saint Laurent—will begin to manufacture masks in their workshops. Gucci will also be donating more than 1 million masks and 500,000 medical overalls to Italy's frontline medical staff.
The Italian fashion house has most recently announced its support for scientific research in Italy. Bottega Veneta is funding two-year scholarships to contribute to research and support of Italian medical staff from the current pandemic and beyond. The total scholarships funded amount to EUR300,000.