Luxury fashion brands and designers such as Gucci, Armani, Prada, Ralph Lauren and others pivot to making face masks as Coronavirus continues to spread.
Prada, COS and Louis Vuitton are among the leading fashion brands that are retooling to manufacture surgical face masks in response to the shortage caused by COVID-19.
Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga have begun production of cotton face masks. Other brands including COS, Zara and Mango have also committed to making the surgical masks, while luxury conglomerate LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) has promised to donate millions of masks and medical-grade respirators to replenish dwindling supplies.
Prada to supply over 100,000 medical masks
Prada has announced that it will be producing 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks in its factory in Montone in Umbria. These will be allocated to healthcare personnel in Tuscany, following a request from the Italian region’s government.
The company is making loose-fitting cloth masks that cover the nose and mouth, offering one-way protection to capture bodily fluid leaving the wearer. Although these masks can’t provide full coverage against coronavirus they can stop coughs and remind the wearer not to touch their face.
Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent to begin mask production
Kering-owned Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent are also preparing to manufacture masks, although it is unclear to what timescale.
COS, Zara and Mango set to make masks
High-street brands have also joined in the fight. Spanish group Inditex – owner of Zara and Mango – has pledged to produce surgical masks, and claims to be in the process of distributing two million donated masks across Spain.
LVMH to donate three million FFP2 respirators
Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH announced it will be ordering a total of 40 million FFP2 disposable particulate respirators and surgical masks from China to be distributed to healthcare workers in France.
These tight-fitting respirator masks, the most common of which are those labeled FFP2 in Europe or N95 in the US, provide two-way protection, and are harder to manufacture.
Salvatore Ferragamo joining the fight
The Italian brand is producing over 100,000 protective masks and 50,000 units of hand sanitizer to donate to health-care workers in Tuscany.
Ralph Lauren is to start making medical masks and gowns
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will start making 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns in the US.
Fashion designers making protective gowns for medical staff
Fashion powerhouses including Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell, Michael Costello are getting hands-on to provide medical staff with face masks and gowns during the coronavirus outbreak.
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet revealed in a March 21 tweet that the brand is producing masks that it will donate to hospitals in New York.
Crocs donating shoes to health-care centers
The shoe brand has launched a giveaway initiative where it is giving free pairs of shoes to health-care workers. These individuals can take part in the initiative through the brand’s web site, which will begin accepting requests at noon each day while supplies last.
Crocs is also donating 100,000 shoes to health-care facilities across the country.