Designers Donate Millions To Combat Covid-19
The entire world is becoming all too familiar with the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus), and terms like “self-isolation” and “social distancing” have quickly become mainstays in our vernacular. As the stock market plummets to record lows every day, no industry on the planet is proving invincible from coronavirus’s deadly grip, including the fashion industry. Even names like Versace, Armani and Prada are being affected. Italy, the home of fashion, has seen one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks outside of Asia, and the entire country has now been placed under quarantine. In response to these apocalyptic-like conditions, the fashion industry has decided to step onto the runway and fight back.
Companies like LVMH have donated $2.2 million to the Red Cross in China and is transforming its luxury perfume and cosmetics factories into production facilities, which will produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer for the authorities in France and local hospitals. This hand sanitizer will then be donated. And LVMH isn’t the only major luxury designer trying to help end this pandemic.
Donatella Versace recently announced that she and her daughter Allegra made a personal contribution of 200,000 euros to the intensive-care department of the San Raffaele hospital in Milan. “In times like this, it is important to be united and support however we can to help all those who are in the front lines, fighting every day to save hundreds of lives,” the two said in a joint statement. “Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this disease and to all the doctors and medical staff who have been working heroically non-stop in the past weeks in an effort to take care of our loved ones.”
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The global crisis that’s hitting us so hard has underlined even more that we are all one and that we need to work together to overcome the Coronavirus. My gratitude goes to all the doctors, nurses and the entire Italian health system that is working so hard to get us all over this terrible moment. I wanted to thank the Chinese delegation of experts that has just arrived in Rome, having brought vital medical equipment and medicines. Let’s be strong, let’s fight this together and let’s all be safe! Donatella Versace
Another fashion entrepreneur stepping up is Chiara Ferragni, who’s started her own online fundraising campaign. It has already generated more than $4 million for Italian hospitals.
In early February, Bulgari contributed to the research department at the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome, which was trying to buy a microscopic image acquisition system to assist in combating the epidemic. With Bulgari’s financial aid, this medical team was among the first to isolate the DNA of COVID-19 and potentially stop its proliferation.
Miuccia Prada; her husband, Patrizio Bertelli (the company’s co-CEO); and chairman Carlo Mazzi have donated six intensive-care and resuscitation units to three hospitals in Milan: Vittore Buzzi, Sacco and San Raffaele.
Other major players that have donated to the cause include Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate that owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chloé, which has pledged 10 million renminbi ($1.4 million) to combating COVID-19.
Sergio Rossi has given 100,000 euros to the ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco hospital in Milan. Additionally, the luxury designer has also set up a challenge for online customers to snap up their favourite styles at www.sergiorossi.com from now until March 20, 2020, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will also be donated to the fight against the virus.
Silvia Venturini Fendi announced that the Carla Fendi Foundation donated 100,000 euros to the intensive-care department of the Presidio Sanitario Columbus hospital in Rome.
Hermès pledged 5 million yuan ($711,278) to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, which honors medical professionals currently fighting the virus in many countries.
Designer Giorgio Armani donated 1.25 million euros ($1.4 million) to numerous Italian hospitals and institutions.
Luxury conglomerate Kering, which owns companies such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, donated 7.5 million yuan ($1 million) to the Red Cross Society of China.
With more than 140,000 cases of COVID-19 globally and still climbing, no one knows exactly when or how this plague will be stopped, but in the meantime, there’s no doubt the fashion industry is walking the runway — and strutting its stuff.