ICYMI COVID-19 edition: Dior hand sanitisers, closed stores, cancelled cruise shows, and more
The shows don’t go on
Bulgari donates to the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital.
The Roman jewellery house took a big step in donating towards COVID-19 research, endowing the Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital's research department with 3D microscopes. The state-of-the-art equipment is expected to play a fundamental role in developing treatments for the virus, and is the first to be installed in Rome. Bulgari has also repurposed its fragrance manufacturing capabilities to produce hand sanitizers for use in Italy.
Geox donates €1 million to Italy.
Mario and Enrico Moretti Polegato, presidents of Geox and its Diadora subsidiary, donated €1 million to the Veneto region in Italy to assist with the management of the ongoing health crisis. The latter called it a "moral duty" to support Italian doctors and nurses, in what is now one of the worst-hit European countries by COVID-19.
CFDA and the Vogue Fashion Fund announce a new fundraising initiative.
Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA, and Anna Wintour recently announced the launch of A Common Thread, a new fundraising initiative meant to support the American fashion community impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The initiative will be supported by a video series featuring fashion professionals whose livelihoods have been affected, highlighting not only the designers but also the behind-the-scenes workers who make up the industry. The initiative is still seeking donors, and the parameters of the fund have yet to be confirmed, but the CFDA has clarified that it will not be limited to former Fashion Fund participants or members of the CFDA.
Net-A-Porter suspends distribution centers in the US and Europe.
The online luxury e-commerce platform Net-A-Porter has closed its distribution centers in the United States and Europe, temporarily suspending service in those regions as well as the Middle East. Deliveries and returns will therefore be halted in those regions. Its Asia Pacific arm remains operational, but the suspensions potentially upend a false belief that e-commerce will – as opposed to physical retail – be less affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Menswear and couture fashion weeks in Paris are cancelled.
The French fashion federation has cancelled both the upcoming Paris men's and haute couture fashion weeks, which were originally slated to take place from 23 to 28 June, and 5 to 9 July respectively. These two fashion weeks are the latest to be affected by the current COVID-19 situation, following closely behind the spate of cancelled Resort shows. The federation has said it is working with its members on alternative modes of presentation, and it almost certainly seems to lean right now towards a digital season of shows.
Ralph Lauren makes US$10 million donation.
The American fashion company has made one of the largest donations in the industry thus far, with its corporate foundation donating US$10 million to a number of charities. Those include the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, A Common Thread by the CFDA and Vogue Fashion Fund, as well as internal initiatives such as its own Pink Pony Fund for cancer institutions that are providing for especially vulnerable individuals. Ralph Lauren is also offering grants to its employees facing special circumstances such as medical, elder, or child-care needs during this time.
Fashion brands are providing PPE to make up for shortages.
A number of fashion companies are redeploying their manufacturing and production capabilities to manufacture personal protective clothing like blouses, gowns and masks for frontline healthcare workers. Among them are brands like Christian Siriano and Brooks Brothers in New York, Burberry in London, and Dior and Chanel in Paris. Chanel is currently awaiting approval of its prototypes by the French authorities, and should they succeed will bolster the nation's current usage numbers of 40 million face masks per week.
Luxury fashion brands make an effort to support its workers.
Chanel has pledged to pay its French workers for two months to lessen the burden of unemployment welfare on the state, as well as committed to not putting any of its 4500 employees in temporary unemployment. In Italy, the Only The Brave group, which owns Diesel, Marni, Maison Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, has created a solidarity fund to support employees most affected by the COVID-19 emergency. All Italian executives in the company will donate a minimum of five of their contractual paid leave days, and its economic value will be donated to and distributed amongst lower income employees in need of it.