Together with its various houses, the luxury group is making contributions to three U.S.-based organizations. This follows significant donations already made in France, Italy and China. Brands under the Kering umbrella include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux and Kering Eyewear.
“As the global coronavirus pandemic escalates rapidly across the United States, and around the world, there is a growing concern that U.S. community health needs will rapidly outpace capacity,” Kering said in a statement.
One million dollars is earmarked for the CDC Foundation in support of frontline health-care workers. The money will target highly impacted U.S. states including New York, New Jersey, California and Florida, while locations in Latin America will also receive funding. The CDC Foundation was established by Congress in 1992, and opened in 1995, as an independent nonprofit to foster private-sector support for the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund allows for the deployment of flexible resources to fulfill priority response needs where appropriated funds are not available or cannot be deployed quickly enough,” the statement said. “Thus, Kering’s contribution hopes to create complementary impact alongside government in ways that will protect and provide lifesaving support as together we work to combat this unprecedented pandemic.”
Kering will also contribute to two programs with fashion-directed goals. One recipient is A Common Thread, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief, a storytelling initiative intended to raise awareness and funds for those in the American industry hit hard by the shutdown. The fund will accept applications beginning April 8. The other recipient is Your Friends in New York Want to Help, which Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond founded last month to aid distressed minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as to collect masks and gloves for medical personnel.
These contributions are the most recent in a series of initiatives by Kering, which has focused its efforts on specific areas around the globe. The group was early to COVID-19 relief, making its first move back in January with a gift of 7.5 million renminbi ($1.08 million) to China’s Hubei Red Cross Foundation. That was followed by a donation of 2 million euros to four major Italian hospitals, in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio, and a donation to France’s Institut Pasteur to support research, the amount of which was undisclosed.
In addition, last month Kering houses Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent undertook making masks in their workshops, while Gucci committed to supplying 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls. Kering also said it would purchase 3 million medical masks from China, in support of French health-care workers.