As the cases of coronavirus climb higher each week, fashion companies have ramped up their efforts to mitigate its spread. Last week, luxury house LVMH began using its perfume factories to produce hand sanitizers for health authorities in France. Now, LVMH and fellow luxury goods company Kering are taking it a step further by ordering millions of medical supplies to France.
LVMH is enlisting a Chinese supplier to provide 10 million surgical masks to France with plans to reorder masks "for at least four weeks in similar quantities," the company said in a statement released this past Saturday.
"In order to secure this order during an extremely tense period and to ensure that production begins today, Bernard Arnault arranged for LVMH to finance the whole of the first week of deliveries, amounting to five million euros," LVMH continued.
Kering, the luxury group that houses brands like Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and more, followed suit and will also supply three million surgical masks to French health services in the coming days. Kering brands Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will also manufacture "masks while complying with the strictest health protection measures for their staff members, with production getting underway as soon as the manufacturing process and materials have been approved by the relevant authorities," the company said in a statement on Sunday.
In the United States, designers Christian Siriano and Michael Costello have also addressed the surgical mask shortage. Costello is collaborating with a Calabasas-based manufacturer to create 20,000 surgical masks that he plans to donate to hospitals, first-team responders and other health officials in the Los Angeles.
"For the first couple of days of this emergency I, like many others, felt frustrated and helpless just sitting at home. I realized that even if I couldn't do what I wanted as a Designer, I should do what I can to help others that keeps our community safe," Costello said in a press release. "While I'm not a nurse, doctor or first responder, I knew I can give the one thing I know best, which is fashion, and help design masks that will be crucial for preventing exposure."
Nerisha Penrose Assistant Editor Nerisha is the assistant editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty and fashion.