THE FASHION IN­DUS­TRY FIGHTS BACK

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST -

While the Covid-19 pan­demic is dis­rupt­ing economies and in­dus­tries around the globe, fashion brands have stepped up ef­forts to com­bat the virus. Italy has been hit par­tic­u­larly hard by the coro­n­avirus, and is where many of the big­gest names in fashion are head­quar­tered – so an in­creas­ing num­ber of th­ese lux­ury brands have ral­lied to raise funds. Prada’s hold­ing com­pany, Prada S p A, is fund­ing two brand-new in­ten­sive care units in Mi­lan, while Donatella Ver­sace and daugh­ter Al­le­gra Ver­sace Beck have also vowed to do­nate $200,000 (Dh734,500) to Mi­lanese in­ten­sive care units.

Bul­gari has made an undis­closed con­tri­bu­tion to the Isti­tuto Laz­zaro Spal­lan­zani in Rome, to help the re­search in­sti­tute pur­chase a mi­cro­scopic image ac­qui­si­tion sys­tem to ad­vance treat­ment and preven­tion of the virus. De­signer Gior­gio Ar­mani has of­fered €1.25 mil­lion (Dh4.9m) to sev­eral hos­pi­tals in both Mi­lan and Rome.

Giuseppe San­toni, chief ex­ec­u­tive of shoe brand San­toni, has made a €50,000 do­na­tion, des­tined for hos­pi­tals and in­sti­tu­tions in the Marche re­gion of Italy, where the com­pany is head­quar­tered. Dolce & Gab­bana, mean­while, has made a large (but undis­closed) do­na­tion to the Hu­man­i­tas Uni­ver­sity in Italy, as it con­ducts ur­gent re­search into the virus.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Gucci, Marco Biz­zarri, has per­son­ally gi ed $100,000 to hos­pi­tals in the Emil­i­aRo­magna re­gion of Italy, which has one of the high­est in­fec­tion rates in the coun­try. An­other shoe brand, Ser­gio Rossi, has do­nated more than $100,000 to two of the largest hos­pi­tals in Mi­lan.

Fashion in­flu­encer Chiara Fer­ragni and hus­band Fedez have pledged €100,000 to a GoFundMe fundraiser for ad­di­tional in­ten­sive care beds at Mi­lan’s San Raf­faele hospi­tal.

Across the At­lantic, New York fashion la­bel Chris­tian Siri­ano re­pur­posed its work­shop to make much­needed face masks for the city’s health­care work­ers. An­nounc­ing the news on Twit­ter, the de­signer said: “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.”

Mon­cler, the high-end jacket la­bel, has vowed to help finance a new hospi­tal in Mi­lan ded­i­cated to Covid-19 pa­tients. The 270,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity will have over 400 in­ten­sive care units. With con­struc­tion well un­der way al­ready, the new spe­cial­ist hospi­tal is ex­pected to open im­mi­nently.

Saint Lau­rent and Ba­len­ci­aga both an­nounced that their work­shops in France would be given over to the pro­duc­tion of sur­gi­cal face masks, in­stead of clothes, while par­ent com­pany Ker­ing Group will be donat­ing an ad­di­tional three mil­lion masks to the French health­care sys­tem.

LVMH, owner of some of the world’s largest lux­ury brands, was one of the first to lend its ef­forts to the bat­tle against Covid-19, when it be­gan pro­duc­ing much-needed hand sani­tiser at three of its per­fume man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in France, which are tra­di­tion­ally re­served for cre­at­ing Chris­tian Dior, Givenchy and Guer­lain fra­grances.

“The cos­met­ics fac­to­ries are very sim­i­lar to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­to­ries,” ex­plains Marc-An­toine Jamet, gen­eral sec­re­tary of LVMH. “Some­times they have the same [in­gre­di­ents]; that’s why we have di­verted our pro­duc­tion lines into this gel pro­duc­tion. We were told that per­haps hand sani­tis­ers will be at risk of short­age in Paris hos­pi­tals and else­where.”

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