Fashion Designers, Influential Figures Raise Funds to Fight Coronavirus

The fashion industry is joining in the fight against coronavirus.

A number of fashion designers, brands and influential figures are making donations to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak, which is continuing its global spread to more than 170 countries with roughly 796,000 cases and 38,556 deaths as of March 31.

As the virus continues to impact the fashion industry and cause the cancellations and postponement of a number of major events — including the 2020 Summer Olympics, Coachella and the Met Gala — the likes of Giorgio Armani, influencer Chiara Ferragni and Gucci chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri, among others, are making an effort to help stop the virus’ spread.

See WWD’s list of the fashion designers and influential figures that are making donations to help combat COVID-19 below.

This article will be updated as news develops.

Bulgari

Bulgari made a donation to the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome on Feb. 6, aiding its research department in purchasing a microscopic image acquisition system that will help advance the institute’s ability in preventing and treating COVID-19. The machine is valued at 100,000 euros.

Camera Della Moda:

Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda is donating 3 million euros to the “Italia, we are with you” solidarity project created by its member brands. The project enables the special commissioner for the emergency, Domenico Arcuri, and the Civil Protection Authority to donate ventilators and other essential equipment to hospitals in the country.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund: 

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue Fashion Fund have launched a new charitable initiative, called a Common Thread, to benefit the American fashion community impacted by the pandemic. The initiative is open to designers and brands across the industry — not just CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners or CFDA members — and individuals can apply by submitting a video in which they tell their fashion stories and explain how they’ve been impacted by the pandemic.

Chanel: 

Chanel has made a 1.2 million euro donation to an emergency fund for the public hospital system in Paris and French emergency services to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chiara Ferragni and Fedez:

Powerhouse fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni revealed on March 9 that she and her husband Fedez are making a personal donation of 100,000 euros to support a GoFundMe fund-raiser that is creating new hospital beds in intensive care areas of Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.

Ferragni revealed on Instagram Tuesday that the GoFundMe fundraiser has amassed more than 4 million euros in donations.

Italy has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases with over 100,000 people affected by the virus, according to the New York Times. The country has been on lockdown since March 9 in an effort to contain the virus. Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has pledged 25 billion euros to support the country’s fight of COVID-19.

Christian Siriano:

After tweeting to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking how he could get masks to New York City hospitals, Christian Siriano and his team are working to make 1,000 masks in the next few days.

The designer is also urging other designers who have production capacities to pitch in.

“I really think that if anybody still has team members who are sewing or who can sew, especially in New York, we could make a few hundred a day,” he said. “There are only so many people who work in a hospital. Fashion could really change everything in a week. Look, we have nothing else to do right now. Nobody is buying clothes so what can we do? I hope that everybody can pitch in.”

Estée Lauder Cos.:

The Estée Lauder Cos. has made a $2 million donation to Doctors Without Borders to support its work treating COVID-19 patients in under-resourced and highly impacted countries.

The company has also made a grant to help establish the $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which will support New York City-based social services and cultural organizations that have been impacted by the virus.

It is also reopening its Melville, N.Y. manufacturing facility to produce hand sanitizer.

Facebook:

Facebook has created a $100 million grant for small businesses that are facing severe financial hardships due government ordered closures of restaurants, bars and retail stores because of COVID-19.

Giorgio Armani:

Giorgio Armani is making a donation of 1.25 million euros to a range of Italian hospitals and institutions, including the Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele hospitals, the Istituto dei Tumori in Milan and the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome.

The designer later increased his donation to support hospitals in Bergamo and Piacenza and the Versilia hospital in Tuscany, bringing his total donation amount to 2 million euros.

Giuseppe Santoni:

Giuseppe Santoni, the chief executive officer of shoe brand, Santoni, launched a digital fundraising initiative with a 50,000 euro donation. His goal is to raise 500,000 euros to support Italy’s Marche region, where the brand is based.

Gucci:

Gucci is pledging 2 million euros to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The design house is splitting the donation equally between the Italian Civil Protection Department and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

Kering:

The luxury group has donated 2 million euros to health-care organizations in Italy’s Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio regions to combat the virus on March 11.

The company will also be importing 3 million surgical masks from China to provide to French health services. Its brands, Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent, plan to manufacture masks at its factories.

Kering had initiatlly made a donation of 7.5 renminbi — or roughly $1.08 million — to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation on behalf of its 13 fashion brands in late January.

L’Oréal:

L’Oréal is launching a program in Europe to help combat COVID-19. The plan includes producing hand sanitizer in its factories to help support French and European health authorities.

Its brands are pitching in: La Roche-Posay will be providing hydro-alcoholic gel to hospitals, nursing homes and partnering pharmacies in Europe and Garnier will be offering free hand sanitizer to its European clients in the food distribution channel so their employees can protect themselves.

The Foundation L’Oréal is also donating 1 million euros to its partner associations that offer products such as shower gel, shampoo and hydro-alcoholic gel to social workers and volunteers.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton:

The luxury conglomerate pledged 16 million renminbi — or roughly $2.3 million — to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help with the shortage of medical supplies in Wuhan City, where the COVID-19 outbreak initially began. 

LVMH announced on March 15 that it will be manufacturing hand sanitizer at all of the production facilities for its perfumes and cosmetics brands, including Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy. The conglomerate will then distribute the hand sanitizer free to French health authorities — prioritizing Parisian hospitals — to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company will also deliver 10 million masks in France after securing an order with a Chinese supplier.

Making the Cut:

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s new Amazon Prime Video fashion show, Making the Cut, celebrated its March 27 premiere by donating $500,000 to the World Health Organization.

Marco Bizzarri:

Gucci chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri is making a personal donation of 100,000 euros to a range of hospitals in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region.

Bizzarri’s donation comes after the design house announced on March 2 that it will be canceling its cruise 2021 fashion show scheduled for May 18 in San Francisco.

Mayhoola:

Mayhoola, the parent company behind Valentino, Balmain and Pal Zileri, is donating 2 million euros to fight COVID-19 in Italy. 

The Qatar-based fund will be donating to Milan’s Sacco Hospital to improve the efficiency and security of its intensive care treatment units and will be donating 1 million euros to provide negative pressure ventilation installation to help medical staff who are working with COVID-19 patients.

Mike Bloomberg:

Former New York City major Mike Bloomberg is donating $40 million through his Bloomberg Philanthropies organization to help contain COVID-19, specifically preventing its spread to vulnerable low and middle-income countries.

Moncler:

Moncler is making a 10 million euro donation to a new hospital project in Milan, which will feature over 400 intensive care units for COVID-19 patients. The 270,000 square foot hospital is being set up in the former fairgrounds in Milan and is expected to open around March 27.

New Balance:

New Balance is donating $2 million through its New Balance Foundation to organizations such as No Kid Hungry, Global Giving, The Boston Resiliency Fund, Groundwork Lawrence, Good Shepherd Food Bank and the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Nike:

Nike Inc. leaders are donating over $15 million to benefit local communities where Nike employees live and work, specifically in Oregon, the brand’s home state, which saw the biggest one-day spike in cases on March 17.

Nike cofounder and chairman emeritus, Phil Knight, and his wife Penny, executive vice chairman Mark Marker and his wife Kathy, and president and chief executive officer John Donahue and his wife Eileen are donating a combined $10 million for the initiative.

The Nike Foundation is also donating $1 million to the global COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which was created by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation to finance efforts by the World Health Organization to help respond to the pandemic.

OTB:

The Italian fashion group, which controls Diesel, Marni, Maison Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, has created the “Brave OTB Solidarity Fund,” where OTB executives will voluntarily donate a minimum of five of their contractual paid leave days to support its employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pirelli:

Pirelli has canceled the launch of the 2021 edition of its signature calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the company has pledged 100,000 euros to support the research and fight against the virus.

Prada: 

Prada co-chief executive officers, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, and chairman Carlo Mazzi announced on March 16 that they are donating two complete intensive care and resuscitation units each to Milan hospitals Vittore Buzzi, Sacco and San Raffaele.

Pronovias:

Pronovias Group, the Barcelona-based luxury bridal company, is donating free wedding dresses to hospital employees that are working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic who are getting married, including doctors, nurses, janitors and cafeteria staff, among others.

The initiative is available to all hospital-employed brides-to-be until Aug. 31.

PVH:

PVH is committing $1 million to COVID-19 relief, including a $100,000 donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The company is making other contributions to organizations addressing the needs of its global supply chain workforce and to resiliency grants to local partners and community foundations

Pyer Moss:

Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond is converting his New York City office into a donation center for masks and latex gloves to help the fight COVID-19. The designer revealed the initiative in an Instagram post on March 18, stating that his sister, a medical professional, has contracted the virus due to lack of medical supplies.

Individuals are encouraged to drop off donations in person — where social distancing and hygienic practices are in order — or to mail in supplies to the Pyer Moss office.

The designer also stated that he is contributing $5,000 to purchase these supplies and $50,000 to minority and female-owned small businesses that are under distress due to the pandemic.

Ralph Lauren:

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is pledging $10 million to help the company’s team and communities impacted by the virus. The donation will help provide financial grants for Ralph Lauren colleagues in need, contribute to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and aid its Pink Pony Fund by supporting its network of international cancer institutions.

The donation also provides an inaugural gift of $1 million to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s A Common Thread fundraising initiative, which benefits the American fashion community impacted by the pandemic.

Sergio Rossi:

Luxury footwear label, Sergio Rossi, made a donation of 100,000 euros to Milan’s Fatebenefratelli and Luigi Sacco hospitals. The brand also announced that all proceeds from its web site will be fully donated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Armour:

Under Armor announced on March 19 it is pledging $2 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will be donating $1 million to Feeding America, which supports local food banks and hunger relief efforts, and $1 million to host a 30-day fitness challenge with Good Sports to support youth sports’ leagues on its My Fitness Pal and Map My Run platforms.

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti:

The business partners are making a donation through their foundation of 1 million euros to the Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli hospital in Rome to support its new COVID-19 treatment unit.

“In such a dramatic moment for the entire world, we wanted to offer our support to win this crucial battle against such an invisible yet terrible enemy,” said Garavani. “We feel grateful for all the women and men that are painstakingly fighting day and night to save precious lives in our hospitals. We will never stop thanking them for the love and passion with which they’re handling this challenge.”

Versace:

Donatella Versace and her daughter, Allegra Versace Beck, made a 200,000 euro donation on March 13 to the intensive care unit of Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this disease and to all the doctors and medical staff who have been working heroically non-stop in the past weeks in the effort to take care of our loved ones,” they said in a statement. “This is when we, as a society, need to stand together and care for one another.”

The Italian fashion house had also donated 1 million renminbi — or roughly $143,400 — on Feb. 5 to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help with the shortage of medical supplies in the country.

Zegna:

The Zegna family and Ermenegildo Zegna’s top management are donating 3 million euros to fight COVID-19 in Italy. The donation is being made to the country’s Civil Protection, which supports medical personnel and volunteers treating the virus.

The company is also converting part of its facilities in Italy and Switzerland to manufacture protective masks for its employees and has supported the purchase of ventilators and masks for a range of hospitals.

Read more on COVID-19 here:

How Coronavirus Has Impacted the Fashion Industry

Coronavirus Crisis Could Spur Digital Strategies 

Condé Nast Italy to Offer Free Digital Issues Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

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