ICYMI: The COVID-19 edition, featuring Prada and Moncler's generous donations, LVMH store closures, and sombre news on Met Gala
Fashion by the 'gram
Moncler supports the Fiera Hospital project.
The French-Italian fashion brand has pledged to donate €10 million to help build a hospital with over 400 intensive care units in the Lombardy region of Italy. Remo Ruffini, the CEO and Chairman of Moncler, said that the company "cannot and must not abandon" Milan, describing it as "everyone's duty to give back to the city". Moncler, which was founded in the Grenoble city of France in 1952, has its current headquarters in Italy.
Stores are closing.
Fashion conglomerates have announced store closures, largely in the American, Canadian, and European regions. Among them, the LVMH stable (which includes Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Celine, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy) and Kering (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Brioni). Other luxury brands such as Chanel and Prada have also closed stores in America, while the American Tapestry group, with brands like Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman, have also closed their stores in North America and Europe.
Factories shut their doors.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge financial impact on the markets, and a number of fashion brands are shuttering their factories for the time being. Chanel, Hermès, and Gucci are some of the brands closing down their factories in France, Switzerland, and Italy for the next few weeks. Chanel, in particular, has closed the entirety of its production sites that cover haute couture, ready-to-wear, metiers d'art, watchmaking, and jewelry, maintaining lean distribution sites.
Factories are diverting their resources to help with the pandemic.
A surprising and significant development came earlier this week when LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault announced that the company's perfumes and cosmetics division would be using its production sites to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel to meet the demands of public institutions in France. These include Dior, Givenchy, and Guerlain's cosmetics lines. The hand sanitisers will be provided to French health authorities free of charge for "as long as necessary", according to a press statement by the group.
The annual CFDA awards have been postponed.
Earlier this month, the Council of Fashion Designers of America had secured the New York Public Library as a venue for this year's prize ceremony. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic's seriousness in America, however, the CFDA has now announced it will be postponing the announcement of this year's nominees as well as the actual prize ceremony, which normally takes place around June. Later dates have not been confirmed, and the CFDA has stated that they will be monitoring the situation and providing updates as they become available.
This year's Met Gala is going to either be cancelled or postponed.
Fashion's most significant event, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute ball, is in an uncertain state. The gala, which traditionally takes place on the first Monday in May, will either be cancelled or postponed this year — though the Met has not confirmed which. This year's blockbuster spring exhibit is themed "About Time: Fashion and Duration", though time will perhaps tell whether its opening will be pushed back.
Fashion shows are cancelled everywhere.
The latest fall/winter 2020 fashion show season happened right on the cusp of the COVID-19 outbreak, and its most immediate repercussions were cancelled shows. The cruise season, which takes place from April to May, has now seen cancellation from Armani, Dior, Hermès, Prada, Versace, Gucci, and Max Mara. Cruise collections these days tend to be travelling blockbuster affairs, and these brands had originally planned for show destinations in locations such as Dubai, London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and St. Petersburg.
Burberry looks to be in trouble.
The British heritage brand looks to be one of the hardest hit among the luxury fashion sector, with latest statements saying that the brand has seen its retail sales fall between 40 to 50% in the last six weeks. So far, Burberry shares are down by over 3%, and about 40% of its directly-operated stores around the world are closed, with further closures possibly on the way. More worryingly, the brand also predicted that its retail store sales this year are expected to decline between 70 to 80%.
Prada donates ICUs to Italian hospitals.
Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, the husband-wife co-CEOs of Prada Group earlier this week donated six complete intensive care and resuscitation units to three different hospitals in Milan. The Vittore Buzzi, Sacco, and San Raffaele hospitals are each getting two of the ICU units — a shortage in very heavily-affected Italy. Miuccia Prada has also partnered with LILT (the Italian League in the fight against cancer) in a fundraising effort for the coronavirus emergency, offering a personal donation.
Pyer Moss is offering help on the ground.
Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder and designer of New York label Pyer Moss, announced this week measures to support medical professionals as well as independent creative businesses run by minorities and women of colour. The Pyer Moss office has been converted into a donation center, and they are asking for N95 masks and latex gloves to address the shortage being faced by healthcare workers. The brand has also set aside US$50,000 to support independent businesses that are in trouble and unable to make payroll, giving attention to smaller scale enterprises that are being hit by the crisis.