As countries across the world face continuing unprecedented shortages of the personal protection equipment needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, many of Sloane Street’s luxury brands are working to support healthcare workers by turning over their manufacturing resources to the production of surgical gowns and masks, as well as donating to hospitals in their communities.
From Prada to Gucci and Armani, these are some of the Sloane Street Maisons valiantly working to alleviate the global PPE shortage.
In March, Gucci responded to an appeal by the regional authorities in Tuscany for companies in the fashion sector to start producing surgical masks and gowns for medical staff. The aim, over time, is to produce a total of 1,100,000 masks and 55,000 gowns. Gucci also launched crowdfunding projects, inviting the entire Gucci community to contribute, via the www.gucci.forfunding.it platform or its Instagram account, while also giving the World Health Organisation full access to the 70 million followers on Gucci’s social media networks.
Its factory in Perugia is producing protective medical wear and planned to deliver 80,000 overalls and 110,000 masks to Tuscan hospitals daily. Additionally, Prada co-CEOs Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, and chairman Carlo Mazzi, donated two resuscitation and complete intensive care units to three hospitals in Milan.
Louis Vuitton mobilised over 300 leather goods artisans to work making large quantities of officially certified non-surgical face masks at twelve of the maison’s French workshops. The masks are also being distributed to the most vulnerable segments of the population, including nursing and retirement homes in Sainte-Florence and Essarts in Bocage.
In addition, volunteers at a workshop near Louis Vuitton headquarters in Paris are making gowns for frontline hospital workers in Paris hospitals.
All of the Armani Group’s Italian production plants have switched to manufacturing single-use medical overalls, to be used for the individual protection of healthcare workers engaged in the fight against the Covid-19. Additionally, Giorgio Armani has donated €2 million to the National Civil Protection Department, as well as hospitals around Italy.
Christian Dior opened its Redon workshop in Brittany, which normally makes Baby Dior clothes, for volunteer staff to make protective gear that is distributed to frontline workers, including cashiers in supermarkets and employees in government services. Christian Dior Couture also delivered 300 gowns to the American hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
Bottega Veneta is supporting medium- and long-term medical research in Italy by funding several scholarships at three research institutions: the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health of the University of Padua; the Virology Laboratory of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome; and the Microbiology and Virology Laboratory of the Hospital Domenico Cotugno in Naples.
Versace donated ¥1 million (£113,000) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation earlier this year. The brand then donated around £402,800 to local relief efforts, including the intensive care unit at San Raffaele hospital in Milan and the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana’s initiative funding ventilators and medical equipment. Donatella Versace and her daughter, Allegra, personally donated about £174,589 to San Raffaele.