The Fashion and Beauty Companies Helping to Combat the Effects of Coronavirus

Barry Samaha
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

The novel coronavirus is a global pandemic that has altered the way we live. Federal and local authorities have urged—and in some cases, mandated—their citizens to self-quarantine, leading to closures of schools, businesses, and public facilities. More pressing, hospitals are filling to capacity and draining the essential equipment they need to treat patients—particularly, surgical gloves and N95 face masks.

In the United States alone, the BBC reports more than 35,175 cases of coronavirus, a statistic expected to swell in the coming weeks. The outlet marks China at 81,496; Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, is listed with 59,138, Spain with 33,089, and Germany with 26,220. As of today, there are more than 340,000 confirmed cases worldwide, prompting many government officials to call for aid. They are asking organizations not only to be vigilant, but to help out as best they can.

Many fashion and beauty companies, the majority of which have ceased production altogether, have heeded the call, stepping up to taper down the adverse effects caused by COVID-19. Some are global firms with a breadth of resources, while others are small, independent companies. But all, in their own ways, are committed to stopping the spread of the disease, providing assistance to those who need it during this trying time, or a combination of both. See below the brands that are playing their parts.

Gucci

The Italian label is providing 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls. It also plans on donating to crowdfunding campaigns that are supporting relief efforts, including the Italian Civil Protection Department and the the World Health Organizations's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. In addition, through #GucciCommunity, it is asking fans to make a donation to the WHO's initiative, along with giving the agency complete access to its social media channels in the hopes of amplifying official public service information.

Ralph Lauren

The American lifestyle brand has pledged $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts, the biggest donation by a luxury company thus far. The grant will go to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Emergency Assistance Foundation, and its Pink Pony Fund, which supports a network of international cancer institutions. It is also starting production on 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for health care workers. Additionally, the firm gifted an undisclosed amount to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to help fashion designers hit by the economic downturn. "We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected," said Ralph Lauren in a statement. "That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis."

Prada

Prada S.p.A is financing the ICUs of three new hospitals in Milan. The Italian company has also reconfigured its factory in Perugia to produce 110,000 masks and 80,000 medical garments that will be delivered to Tuscan hospitals on April 6.

LVMH

The French luxury conglomerate is using the manufacturing facilities of its perfume and cosmetics brands to process large amounts of hydroalcoholic gel, which it will distribute free of charge to health authorities in France. It has also promised to donate 40 million face masks. “Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk and lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus,” read a statement issued by the company.

Kering

Many of the brands under the luxury company have pledged aid. The workshops of Gucci (see above), Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga will be producing face masks as soon as they get approval from health authorities.

Bulgari

Following the lead of LVMH, its parent company, the Italian jewelry brand, with fragrance partner ICR, will produce more than 100,000 hand sanitizer bottles that will be distributed through the Italian Civil Protection Department. Bulgari has also donated funds to the Spallanzani Hospital, which acquired a new microscope for researches looking to eradicate the novel coronavirus.

Mayhoola

The parent company of Valentino, Balmain, and Pal Zileri will donate a new negative pressure ventilation installation to the Sacco Hospital in Milan. It will also donate €1 million to cover all the expenses related to the spread of coronavirus at the hospital, and another million to Protezione Civile Italiana, a government organization that deals with national disasters and catastrophes.

Johnson & Johnson

Since January, the multinational corporation of pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods has been working with the Biomedical Advanced Candidate and Development Authority to create COVID-19 vaccines, which will begin human clinical studies in September. According to a release, it had pledged $300,000,000 to support frontline health care workers.

Michael Kors

Michael Kors, the American fashion label under Capri Holdings, has pledged $1 million, with the eponymous designer adding another $1 million personally, to New York–based organizations supporting coronavirus relief efforts. The amount of $750,000 will go to NYU Langone Health, another $750,000 to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, $250,000 to God’s Love We Deliver, and $250,000 to A Common Thread, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief.

Versace

Donatella and Allegra Versace have pledged €200,000 to the ICU at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, with an additional $400,000 coming from the company. The brand will also donate $100,000 to Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana for its efforts to bring ventilators and medical equipment to hospitals in Italy. In February, Versace donated ¥1 million to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

Jimmy Choo

The London-based accessories label has pledge $500,000 to organizations in the United Kingdom: $250,00 will go to the National Health Service COVID-19 Urgent Appeal by NHS Charities Together, and $250,00 will go to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Jaguar and Land Rover

Under parent company Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, the two automotive brands (yes, not just fashion and beauty) will deploy more than 160 vehicles to organizations helping curtail the spread of coronavirus. They include the British Red Cross and the Red Cross Societies in Australia, Spain, South Africa, and France. It will also loan vehicles to the National Health Service in the U.K., along with wraparound safety glasses to hospitals across the country.

Jewelry Brands for No Kid Hungry

Spearheaded by publicists Danielle Gadi and Jennifer Lowitz, more than 100 jewelry brands have banded together for No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides meals to children across America—many of whom relied on the sustenance provided by schools that are now closed because of COVID-19. They include Irene Neuwirth, Brent Neale, Retrouvai, Jemma Wynne, Colette, and Zoë Chicco—all who will be donating between 10 and 30 percent of sales to the nonprofit.

Estée Lauder

The beauty corporation donated a $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières to support its efforts in countries that lack substantial resources to combat the coronavirus. It also announced the reopening of a factory in Melville, New York, which will start producing hydroalcoholic gel. “The Estée Lauder Companies is proud to contribute to the broader COVID-19 relief efforts by reopening our Melville manufacturing facility this week to produce hand sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff,” it tells WWD.

H&M

The H&M Foundation donated $500,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The company is also arranging its vast supply chain to produce personal protective equipment that will be distributed to hospitals around the globe and is giving global aid to organizations via access to it is social media platforms, so as to spread messages of health and safety.

Burberry

The storied English brand has announced that its Yorkshire factory will begin manufacturing non-surgical masks and gowns that follow the guidelines set by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. It will also fast-track the delivery of more than 100,000 surgical masks to the U.K. National Health Service. Additionally, it is funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford that, according to a release, is "on course to begin human trials next month"—along with donating to FareShare and The Felix Project, two organizations in the United Kingdom that supply meals to those in need.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Through its Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation, the American retailer has pledged $600,000 to organizations that support COVID-19 relief efforts. Amounts of $250,000 will be donated to the NewYork-Presbyterian COVID-19 Patient Care Fund; $200,000 to Bring Change to Mind, an organization that create virtual programs for high school students aimed to reduce isolation; and $150,000 to Girls Inc., which will provide social and emotional support for girls affected by the pandemic.

Calzedonia

Calzedonia Group—the Italian conglomerate behind Calzedonia, Intimissimi, and Falconeri—has converted its facilities in Avio, Gissi, and Croatia to the start producing of medical masks and gowns. The Verona-based company plans on making 10,000 masks a day, many of which have already been distributed to the Hospital of Verona.

Kendra Scott

The Texas-based jewelry brand will donate 50 percent of the sale of its Everlyne bracelets to Feeding America and its efforts to provide, as a statement reads, "nutrition to the children that normally rely on the free National School Lunch programs." It has already provided 500,000 meals to kick-start this campaign. The company will also host a virtual event, dubbed Kendra Gives Back, which, for 48 hours, will supply codes that give 20 percent of each sale to any charity of the purchaser's choosing.

COS

The brand, a subsidiary of H&M, has partnered with Baby2Baby, an organization that supplies diapers, formula, and hygiene products to those in need. According to a release, it has already donated 2.5 million "essential items to some of the most vulnerable families across the country."

Chanel

Along with retaining all its employees through the global pandemic, the French luxury brand is working with authorities to start producing face masks. "Today we are mobilizing our workforce and our partners ... to produce protective masks and blouses," the company said in a statement.

Brooks Brothers

The American fashion brand announced that its factories in New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts will produce medical masks and gowns—with the goal of manufacturing 150,000 of the former per day. "We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs," said Claudio Del Vecchio, CEO of the company, in a statement. "I also want to thank our dedicated manufacturing employees who are returning to work as we reopen our factories to make this possible."

Alejandra Alonso Rojas

The Madrid-born, New York-based designer intends to donate 30 percent of all sales to God's Love We Deliver and No Kid Hungry, two organizations that provide meals in the United States to those in need, until May 30.

Rails

The Los Angeles–based fashion brand has committed to donating 10,000 medical-grade and FDA-approved N95 masks to hospitals across Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, Detroit, and more. It also plans to halt production of its collection so as to produce 5,000 masks that it'll distribute to local communities. The company will also donate an undisclosed percentage of the sales on its website to No Kid Hungry, and an additional $1 repost of its story on Instagram.

Nordstrom

The American retail giant, in partnership with Kaas Tailorred, will have members of its alterations teams in California, Washington, Oregon, and Texas create over 100,000 masks that will be distributed Providence Health & Services. A press release also adds that it is supporting the COVID-19 relief efforts at the Seattle Foundation, YouthCare and Hetrick Martin Institute, along with "donating one percent of the sale of gift cards to support community grants and programs."

Geox

Mario and Enrico Moretti Polegato, presidents of Geox and Diadora, have donated €1 million to health services in the Veneto region of Italy. Said the former in a statement, “In this historic moment of extreme emergency that Italy and Veneto are experiencing, it is our moral duty to support our doctors and nurses, working every day at the forefront in the fight against an invisible yet so fearful enemy, which makes us all equal, vulnerable, helpless.”

Nanushka

The Hungary-based brand will distribute 12,000 medical-grade masks, which it secured from Chinese industrial supplier, to health authorities in its home nation. It will also use its atelier to produce masks for the general public at a rate of two thousand a week for the next four weeks free of charge.

Grande Cosmetics

The beauty company will donate 15 percent of all purchases to Feeding America, an organization that supports a network of food banks across the nation.

Canada Goose

The outerwear brand’s manufacturing facilities in Toronto and Winnipeg will begin making scrubs and patient gowns that will be distributed to hospitals in its home nation. “Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the frontlines of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities, and they need help,” said Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose. “Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good.” The company has also donated RMB 1 million to the Wuhan Charity Federation to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

Coalition of American Brands

Fruit of the Loom, Parkdale Inc., Hanesbrands, American Giant, Beverly Knits, Los Angeles Apparel, Riegel Linen, AST Sportswear, and American Knits have all banded together to produce and distribute medical-grade masks.

Sandro

The French apparel brand is distributing 10,000 masks made from excess fabric to non-medical workers (so the medical-grade ones can be prioritized for essential personnel) at hospitals across France (particularly the Aulnay-sous-Bois hospital) and later throughout Europe and possibly the United States. It will also offer breakfast to hospital employees every Friday in alternating cities throughout the globe. The company has also designed a shirt that will be sold on its website, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Red Cross.

Mango

The Barcelona-based apparel company has committed to donating two million masks that comply with the Spanish Ministry of Health’s guidelines to hospitals throughout the nation.

Coty

The beauty manufacturer behind CoverGirl and Calvin Klein fragrances is using its production facilities to make hydroalcoholic gel for medical and emergency services. “We stay close to our communities during these exceptionally challenging times,” said the company in a statement.

Pyer Moss

The apparel brand has formed a network called Your Friends in New York and set aside $50,000 to obtain N95 masks and medical supplies that it will distribute to local hospitals. It will be also providing financial aid to small minority- and women-led businesses suffering from this economic downturn.

Christian Siriano

The designer offered to help sew face masks in the wake of a possible medical supply shortage in the state of New York. “I am just in a unique scenario where I manufacture everything in New York already, I have a working atelier and everyone's working from home, and my office is a townhouse,” he tells BAZAAR.com.

Inditex

The Galicia-based umbrella company of Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Stradivarius has produced and shipped a great number of surgical masks to coronavirus patients and medical professionals in Spain, and will continue to do so. It also plans on manufacturing hospital gowns in its factories.

Clove

The brand is perfectly suited to aid in this global pandemic, manufacturing liquid-repellent sneakers for healthcare workers. And with the coronavirus lasting on surfaces for prolonged periods, the fact that these kicks are easier to clean are handy during this time. So far, the startup has donated $45,000-worth of sneakers to doctors and nurses that were testing patients at a hospital in Philadelphia.

Alexis

The Florida-based apparel brand has purchased two thousand N95 masks and three thousand gloves, which it will donate to Baptist Health, a series of Christianity-based hospitals in South Florida.

John Elliott

The Los Angeles–based brand has pledged 10 percent of purchases up to $100,000 to the UCLA Health Fund. It has also made a donation of $10,000 to the organization.

Michael Costello

The Los Angeles–based designer has designed a cotton-nylon blend protective mask with a 70-to-74 percent air filtration effectiveness rate, in comparison to the 97 percent effectiveness of surgical face masks. His team will produce 20,000 that will be donated to medical professionals, first responders, and hospitals in L.A. County.

Armani

The eponymous designer has donated $1.4 million to hospitals and health organizations in Italy.

Karla Colletto Swimwear

The brand has converted its factory in Virginia to produce protective equipment that it will distribute to medical professionals.

Aritzia

The Canadian apparel and accessories brand is donating 20 percent of online sales to a fund that, according to a release, will go to "internal team and the employees of our overseas partners impacted by COVID-19." The company has already raised $3 million.

Sperry

Through the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, Sperry will donate 3,000 pairs of shoes.

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