California brands are stepping up with funds and donations to fight the coronavirus.
AG Jeans is donating $1 million to the COVID-19 L.A. County Response Fund to help community clinics and hospitals, and their ability to increase capacity, staffing and aid in implementing virus testing for the public.
Launched in 2000 by Yul Ku, the denim brand has also committed to continue paying and providing benefits to its 2,000 employees between affiliate companies in Los Angeles and Mexico, and at each retail store location nationwide. AG has 16 retail locations with its next one slated to open later this year on Madison Avenue in New York.
Meanwhile, Isaac Larian, the L.A. billionaire behind the Bratz Dolls and the founder of toymaker MGA Entertainment, is donating $5 million to the cause from his children’s toy, clothing and accessories brand L.O.L. Surprise. He has also launched a nonprofit called Operation Pac-Man, which will match donations from the public and direct them toward PPE procurement.
In another twist, his MGAE toy engineers have created a prototype for a new, lower-cost ventilator that’s being tested at UCLA Medical Center. If clinically approved, Larian’s Little Tikes toy and accessories factory in Hudson, Ohio, will begin producing the ventilators.
Southern California-based Decker Brands, parent company of Ugg, is launching the Better Together initiative, pledging $1 million to the COVID-19 cause. The philanthropic response includes directing funds to New York City’s healthcare system, and forging partnerships with local hotels that house first responders to provide them with cozy Ugg products. The brand will also have an Instagram giveback program, donating 500 pairs of slippers weekly to healthcare workers. In Santa Barbara, Calif., where Deckers and Ugg have been headquartered for 47 years, the fund’s efforts will be directed to supporting the Sansum outpatient clinic.
Fashion and beauty brands around the world, including Giorgio Armani, Prada, Kering and Ralph Lauren, are stepping up to donate funds, masks and PPE to the cause. On Monday, San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. pledged $3 million to assist at-risk communities, including its supply chain workers.