Louis Vuitton is making medical garments

PARIS — Louis Vuitton has repurposed a ready-to-wear manufacturing site in central Paris to make medical garments for local hospitals treating patients battling the coronavirus, the high-end label said Friday.

Twenty volunteers in the Pont Neuf workshops at Louis Vuitton headquarters kicked off the effort to make thousands of protective gowns for six hospitals in Paris and nearby suburbs. 

The brand joins other LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton companies making supplies; the group has been using perfume factories, for example, to make hand sanitizer. 

Garment factories across the U.S. and Europe are taking part in the scramble to procure face masks and medical garments. 

Chanel and Kering, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, among other brands, have also said they would use manufacturing facilities to make face masks and medical garments. 

Louis Vuitton recently reopened 12 of its 16 leather goods production sites in the country, and plans to make hundreds of thousands of masks for staff and nursing homes.

Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, visited the Sainte-Florence workshop in the Vendée department in the west of France earlier this week, where more than 100 employees out of 900 were back to work, including 22 producing a mix of disposable and recyclable masks.