How the global style industry is responding to the Covid-19 crisis


Working with Vogue, the CFDA has announced an intitiave to help out those in the American fashion community.

In view of the rapid spread of Covid-19 globally, companies in the style industry are quickly mobilising. Many are switching productions, if not donating to causes that can help out those affected.

Big names like LVMH, Kering, Armani, Prada and Ralph Lauren have turned to producing essential items needed by the medical community. These include sanitisers, masks and medical suits.

LVMH for example, announced on March 16 that three of its perfume and cosmetics factories will start producing hand sanitisers. This is for distribution to hospitals fighting the outbreak in France.

Armani said this week that all of its Italian production plants would start producing single use medical overalls. It is the brand’s effort to support healthcare workers in the Covid-19 crisis.

Other designer labels have made similar changes. Gucci (owned by Kering) and Prada are churning out masks and overalls for medical workers. Ralph Lauren is also pitching in, producing medical masks.

Fast fashion label H&M has announced it will use its extensive supply chain network to help hospitals in need of supplies like masks and gowns. Inditex, the company that owns Zara, has offered to do the same.

Having cancelled the Met Gala, the annual New York event dubbed as “fashion’s biggest night out”, Vogue is working with the CFDA (Council Of Fashion Designers Of America) on a new initiative.

Dubbed “A Common Thread”, it will raise both awareness and needed funds for those in the American fashion community who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a repurposing of the existing fashion fund from CFDA and Vogue.

In addition, the CFDA is helping connect designers and manufacturers with local agencies in the US – which involves sourcing materials and large-scale production capabilities.

Since the start of March, luxury fashion companies have also donated large sums of money to help stem the health and economic fallout of the current pandemic. The style industry is said to have already taken a huge hit from the shutdowns in different countries.

Italian fashion entrepreneuer Chiara Ferragni was among the first to assist in raising funds. Her GoFUndMe campaign, which was created on March 9, has since raised over US$4mil (RM17.1mil) for the San Raffaele hospital in Milan.

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