G-III Apparel Group is coming to the aid of the Ukrainian people — with profits from its business in Russia.
The move, which chairman and chief executive officer Morris Goldfarb detailed in a memo to employees, is another example of how fashion is balancing business, politics and corporate purpose as much of the world mobilizes against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violent invasion of its neighbor.
“We have all watched in dismay the events unfolding abroad,” Goldfarb said in the memo, obtained by WWD.
“G-III has a long history of global corporate citizenship and philanthropy and we believe strongly in giving back,” Goldfarb said. “We’ve put together some immediate initial support for the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis with financial contributions and in-kind donations.
“The company has made the decision to divert the profits from our business in Russia to provide support to the Ukrainian people and we are also immediately donating 10,000 coats to those in the region in need,” he said.
Goldfarb’s father, Aron, was a Holocaust survivor who made his way to the U.S. after the war and founded the company that would become G-III in 1956. Today, the business is anchored by the DKNY, Donna Karan and Karl Lagerfeld Paris brands, which it owns, and Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, which are licensed in various product categories from PVH Corp.
While Aron Goldfarb passed away after a long illness in 2012, his impact is still being felt.
The CEO told employees that his father’s “values shaped our company and, today, we remain steadfast in our belief in the safety and well-being of all around the world. In carrying forward his legacy, the Goldfarb Family Foundation will match all employee contributions, up to $100,000.”
Fashion companies are in the process of figuring out just how to respond to the war, which is in its second week, but has already upended the global security balance and has hurt Russia’s prospects as a growth market.
Kering, Burberry, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and many others are also supporting relief organizations helping Ukrainians, while companies from H&M to Apple have paused all sales in Russia.
TJX Cos. Inc. said last week it would sell off its stake in Russian retailer Familia and could take a loss on the 2019 investment.
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