- Luxury retail sales are being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped some of the biggest names in the industry from helping fight the virus.
- On March 21 LVMH announced it would order 40 million face masks from China and send them to France to help France deal with a shortage of essential medical supplies.
- Other luxury giants like Kering have donated to foundations that provide medical supplies for those impacted by the virus, while individual brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Bulgari are providing funding to medical researchers.
- As Business Insider previously reported, the fashion and luxury sector has been one of the hardest hit industries amid the pandemic, and, as a whole, could see a $US600 billion decline in sales this year.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The luxury retail sector has lost billions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but that hasn’t stopped some of the most prominent names in the game from donating millions to help those affected by the coronavirus.
In January, during the early stages of the global outbreak,LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury conglomerate, announced a donation of 16 million renminbi ($US2.2 million) to The Red Cross Society of China. Since then, LVMH has also turned its perfume factories into sanitizer manufacturers and pledged to send 40 million face masks ordered from China to France to help alleviate France’s shortage of medical supplies.
On April 7, Kering announced it would donate $US1 million to the CDC Foundation to help provide personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic in the United States. The company has already donated about $US4 million dollars to various organisations worldwide amid the pandemic.
Here are some of the most notable designers and brands in luxury stepping up to help fight the coronavirus.
Moncler — €10 million ($US10.9 million)
Moncler announced that it will donate €10 million ($US10.9 million) towards the construction of a new hospital in Milan that has 400 intensive care units.
“Milan is a city that has given us all an extraordinary time,”Moncler Chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini wrote on Instagram. “We cannot and must not abandon it. It is everyone’s duty to give back to the city that has given us so much.”
Ralph Lauren — $US10 million
According to the New York Times’ Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman, Ralph Lauren will be donating $US10 million to various COVID-19 funds and charities. The brand will also be making 250,000 face masks, in addition to 25,000 hospital gowns.
LVMH — 16 million renminbi ($US2.2 million)
LVMH gave 16 million renminbi ($US2.2 million) to The Red Cross Society of China, Tianwei Zhang of Women’s Wear Daily reported in January. Zhang also reported that LVMH has pledged to “obtain and provide” medical supplies.
As previously reported by Business Insider, LVMH has also announced that its factories typically used to produce perfumes and cosmetics will begin producing “large quantities” of alcohol-based sanitizers instead beginning Monday; these will then be given free of charge to French healthcare authorities.
On March 21, Reuters reported that LVMH pledged to order 40 million face masks from China to help France deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes amid a global shortage of medical supplies because of COVID-19.
Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH, donated 21,000 N95s masks to help New York City health professionals deal with the supply shortage.
On April 8, Louis Vuitton announced that it repurposed its French workshops to creative alternative non-surgical masks.
Capri Holdings — $US3 million
Capri Holdings, the company that owns Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Michael Kors, announced in April that its brands and founders would give at least $US3 million to efforts to fight the coronavirus. The money will be split between the US, the UK, and Italy.
“Our hearts and souls go out to those who are working on the front lines to help the world combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” Capri Holdings chairman and chief executive officer John Idol said in a statement.
Idol has also committed to personally donating another $US1 million.
Gucci — €2 million ($US2.2 million)
As reported by Business of Fashion’s M.C. Nanda, Gucci is set to manufacture 1.1 million face masks to aid Italy amid the country’s shortage of medical supplies. In addition, the brand will make 55,000 hospital gowns, upon approval from Italian medical authorities.
Gucci has donated €1 million (1.1 million) to the National Protezione Civile Department through the Intesa Sanpaolo’s ForFunding crowdfunding platform to help Italy deal with the shortage of medical supplies in the country.
The luxury house also donated €1 million ($US1.1 million) to the UN Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which will help ICUs around the world fight the virus.
Richemont Group — 10 million renminbi ($US1.4 million)
Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate which owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chloe, has pledged 10 million renminbi ($US1.4 million) to combating COVID-19, as reported by Jonathan Ho of the style publication Luxuo.
Giorgio Armani — €1.25 million ($US1.4 million)
In addition, The Armani Group announced on March 26 that it has converted all of its production sites in Italy to produce hospital gowns, as the country continues its fight against he coronavirus, as reported by Luisa Zargani for WWD.
Kering — At least $US4 million
Luxury conglomerate Kering, which owns companies such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, donated 7.5 million yuan ($US1 million) to the Red Cross Society of China, reported Leona Liu of South China Morning Post on February 8.
Kering has also made a 2 million euro ($US2.2 million) donation to Italy and, according to Vanessa Friedman at the New York Times, the luxury giant is turning Balenciaga and Saint Laurent’s France-based workshops into face mask manufacturers. It will also ship 3 million masks from China to France.
On April 7, the company announced in a press release that it had donated another $US1 million to the CDC Foundation to help provide personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to the healthcare workers in the United States.
Business of Fashion reports that Kering additionally made an undisclosed financial donation to the Pasteur Institute to fund research for COVID-19.
Tiffany & Co. Foundation — $US1 million
On April 6, Tiffany & Co. announced in a press release it will donate $US250,000 to The New York Community Trust’s NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund and $US750,000 to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
“During this global health crisis, we must all be responsive to the urgent needs of our global communities,” Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chairman and President of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, said in the statement. “We are proud to support organisations providing immediate relief for communities impacted by COVID-19, including our hometown of New York.”
Hermès — 5 million yuan ($US711,278)
Leona Liu from South China Morning Post reported that Hermès pledged 5 million yuan ($US711,278) to the China Soong China Ling Foundation, which honours medical professionals currently fighting the virus in the country.
Valentino —€1 million ($US1.1 million)
On March 26, Fashionista reported that Valentino’s nonprofit division, the Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti Foundation, would donate €1 million to the new Columbus COVID 2 Hospital at Rome’s Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic.
“In such a dramatic moment for the whole world, we wanted to give our contribution to win this crucial battle against this invisible, but terrible enemy,” Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti said in a press release. “Our deepest gratitude goes to those women and men who are fighting night and day to save human lives in our hospitals.”
Mayhoola —€1 million ($US1.1 million)
“The objective of this temporary healthcare facility is to accommodate 1,300 patients suffering from COVID-19,” the company said in a press release. “The extraordinary temporary hospital facility will serve to improve the handling of the health emergency situation in Madrid, one of the more affected cities in Spain by the pandemic.”
Donatella Versace + Family — €200,000 ($US223,168)
Harper’s Bazaar’s Ciara Sheppard reported on March 14 that Donatella Versace and her daughter have donated €200,000 to the ICU of Milan’s San Raffaele hospital, which has become overwhelmed with patients who are being treated for COVID-19.
Versace — 1 million renminbi ($US143,748)
Versace donated 1 million renminbi ($US143,748) to The Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help bolster the country’s shortage of medical supplies reported Sandra Salibian from Women’s Wear Daily.
MCM — 1 million renminbi ($US143,000)
In a statement sent to Business Insider, MCM revealed it has donated 1 million renminbi ($US143,000) to the Soong Ching Ling Foundation to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus. The brand has also sent medical supplies, such as facial masks, to the Sungjoo Foundation.
Sergio Rossi — €100,000 ($US111,396)
Sergio Rossi’s brand donated €100,000 ($US111,396) to a hospital in Milan and pledged to donate 100% of its online sales profits between March 14 and March 20 to help Italy fight the coronavirus.
The renowned women’s shoe designer who founded his namesake label died of coronavirus complications at the age of 84, CNN reported on April 4.
Prada co-CEOs Muiccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, alongside the brand’s chairman Carlo Mazzi, have donated two resuscitation and complete intensive care units to each hospital in Milan, according to a press release sent to Business Insider.
Prada also told Business Insider that on March 18, it started the production of 80,000 hospital gowns and 110,000 masks which will be given to healthcare professionals.
On April 8, Prada announced that its pastry shop, Marchesi, donated Easter cakes to hospitals in Milan.
Jewellery house Bulgari donated an unspecified amount to the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani’s research department. Located in Rome, its medical team was among the first who were able to isolate the DNA of COVID-19, WWD’s Sandra Salibian reports.
Salibian also reports that the donation allowed for the department to buy a microscopic image acquisition system which is worth about €100,000 ($US112,856.00). The machine will help medical teams figure out how to prevent and treat the virus.
Dolce & Gabbana
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana announced their brand would be donating to support research by professors at the Humanitas University in Italy who are seeking to find solutions to help fight the virus, Harper’s Bazaar’s Amy de Klerk reported in February.
On March 20, Christian Siriano told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that his design team could help make face masks, as the city braces for a shortage. Cuomo accepted Siriano’s offer.
A representative for Siriano told Insider the masks were “in the early stages” of production, as of March 21.
On March 29, Chanel announced it would be turning it workshops into face mask factories as France continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today we are mobilizing our workforce and our partners … to produce protective masks and blouses,” the luxury house said in a statement.
According to the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman, Burberry will begin making face masks and hospital gowns in its trench coat factories.
On March 31, Dior announced on Instagram that it was reopening its Baby Dior workshops so volunteer workers could produce face masks.
“We are proud to reopen our @BabyDior_official ateliers in Redon, which since yesterday have begun the continuous production of new masks on a volunteer basis,” the company said. “Dior is actively committed to aiding and protecting all those who are on the front line every day. Thank you to our wonderful petites mains who, in an exceptional show of solidarity, are working tirelessly to protect them.”
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