By Lenore Fedow
lenore.fedow@nationaljeweler.com
Kering, LVMH, Prada Group, and the heir to Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group are working to help combat the coronavirus.
New York—Kering is pitching in to combat the coronavirus, offering its services to health officials in France.

The luxury house announced it would purchase 3 million surgical masks from China to provide to the French health service.

The workshops of its brands Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent will manufacture masks once French officials give the green light to its manufacturing process and materials.

Kering has also donated an undisclosed amount to the Institut Pasteur, the research house named after famed French scientist Louis Pasteur, to support its research into the coronavirus.

Prior to the announcement, Kering had lent a helping hand to China and Italy as well, donating to the four major foundation hospitals in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio on March 11.

Its brand Gucci was among the fashion companies in Tuscany called to help the cause and may be able to donate 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls in the coming weeks, subject to approval from authorities. 

Kering also donated to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation in China on Jan. 28 in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Fellow French luxury titan LVMH also offered its assistance to the country’s health authorities.

The factories that would normally produce Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy perfumes have been converted to make hand sanitizer, which will be delivered free of charge to French health authorities and provided to Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, the public hospital system in Paris.

Around 50 tons of sanitizing gel is being distributed across French hospitals each week.

20200326 Bulgari hand sanitizer bottle NEWA bottle of Bulgari hand sanitizerLVMH-owned Bulgari is set to do the same in Italy. This week, the Italian brand announced plans to manufacture several hundred thousand bottles of hand sanitizer over the next two months in partnership with the brand’s fragrance manufacturing partner, Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite in Lodi, Italy.

The 75ml recyclable bottles will be distributed via the Italian government to medical facilities.

“I believe as a major economic actor and symbol of Italy, Bulgari has a responsibility to contribute to the national effort to help prevent, fight and eradicate COVID-19,” said Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin in a press release.

“Aware of the difficult situation we are experiencing, we believe it is our duty to contribute with our know-how and production facilities,” he added.

The company has also ordered 40 million masks from a Chinese industrial supplier in its distribution network, to be broken up into four shipments of 10 million masks that will be sent over the coming weeks.

LVMH is planning to send masks to Italy and Spain as well. 

The company said it will oversee the management of the supply chain, delivery and customs clearance for the masks, covering 5 million euros worth of related costs in the first week.

Prada will also lend a hand, the Italian luxury company announced in a press release.

Its factory in Montone in the province of Perugia, Italy will produce 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks, with help from external Italian suppliers, to be given to health care officials in the region of Tuscany.

In Hong Kong, Adrian Cheng, heir to the family behind Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, announced plans in late February to produce 200,000 masks per day starting in April, according to a U.S. News report.

The masks will be distributed to Hong Kong residents, particularly low-income families, who have been unable to get masks in light of short supply and price-gouging.





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