Multi-million-pound donations and manufacturing medical gear: how the global luxury market is responding to the coronavirus

Alongside the devastating human cost, global brands are announcing major donations and initiatives to help fight the coronavirus

Valentino has announced a new donation to help support the cause

Significant disruptions to major events in the luxury calendar, store closures and market freefall have reinforced the setbacks the industry is facing due to coronavirus2020欧洲杯足球即时比分, or Covid-19. Over 877,573 cases have been confirmed worldwide, with 43,569 deaths and 185,065 confirmed recoveries. This is how the luxury market has responded so far:


2020欧洲杯足球即时比分As the UK goes into lockdown alongside many countries worldwide including Italy and France, a number of luxury brands have announced major donations and initiatives to help fight coronavirus.   

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分The Canali Group has donated 200,000 euros to the San Gerardo Hospital in Monza through the brand’s nonprofit foundation Fondazione Canali Onlus, to help the fight against coronavirus in Italy. Founded by the Canali family in 2013, the foundation takes in the family’s own human and social values. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分The Michael Kors brand is donating $1m to support local relief efforts in New York City. In addition, founder Michael Kors and John Idol will make personal contributions of an additional $1 million towards these efforts.

Of this $2m packet, two of New York City’s largest hospital systems, NYU Langone Health and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, will each receive $750,000 to support emergency patient care, financial relief to frontline medical staff, and related clinical and diagnostic research.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分God’s Love We Deliver will receive $250,000 to fund meals to be delivered to the city’s most vulnerable individuals living with serious illness across all five boroughs. The Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief will receive $250,000 to provide financial relief for small businesses in the fashion community affected by the pandemic.

In Milan, Versace is donating a total of $500,000 to support local efforts in response to the pandemic; this is in addition to the ¥1 million that Versace donated in February to support the Chinese Red Cross Foundation. These additional funds will support the San Raffaele Hospital and Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana's initiative to donate ventilators and medical equipment to the country’s hospitals. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分This is the second donation from the brand. Friday March 13, Italian fashion house Versace announced that Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra personally donated 200,000 euros to the intensive care department of San Raffaele hospital in Milan to support the fight against coronavirus. 

A statement from Versace herself read, “In times like this, it is important to be united and support those who are on the front lines, fighting every day to save hundreds of lives. This is why Allegra and I have decided to make a personal donation of 200,000 euros to the intensive care department of San Raffaele hospital. This is when we, as a society, need to stand together and care for one another.”

In London, Jimmy Choo will donate $500,000 to support relief efforts both in the brand’s home country of the United Kingdom and globally. National Health Service COVID-19 Urgent Appeal by NHS Charities Together will receive $250,000 to support hospital staff, volunteers and others on the front line caring for COVID-19 patients.

The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will receive $250,000, enabling countries to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and supporting medical professionals and patients worldwide by providing critical aid and supplies.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分From April 1, Acqua di Parma is donating 100% of its revenues from the online sales of all home products, such as candles and diffusers, and personal care items, such as shaving creams, to help the situation in Italy. This is part of the brand's new #StayHome campaign, encouraging buyers to spruce up their living spaces with fragrant products and raise money to fight the coronavirus at the same time.

"In these difficult times of suffering and strife that grip Italy so severely, it is natural and right to make a strong gesture of solidarity. With the #StayHome campaign, we can do our part and demonstrate the love that the Maison has for our mother country," said Laura Burdese, President and CEO of Acqua di Parma. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On March 28, Burberry announced the dedication of its resources to support those impacted by the disease and prevent further infection. By leveraging its global supply chain, the brand will support world-leading research and provide funding to increase food supplies, help to meet the most immediate medical and community needs, and support the development of a longer-term solution to the global pandemic.

The brand will utilise its global supply chain network to fast-track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks to the NHS, for use by medical staff, and retool its trench coat factory in Castleford, Yorkshire, to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients. It will also fund research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford that is on course to begin human trials next month and donate to charities including FareShare and The Felix Project, dedicated to tackling food poverty across the UK.

“In challenging times, we must pull together," said Marco Gobbetti, CEO, Burberry. "The whole team is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19. The pandemic has fundamentally changed our everyday lives, but we hope that the support we provide will go some way towards saving more lives, bringing the virus under control and helping our world recover from this devastating pandemic. Together, we will get through this.”

On March 27 the Zegna Group pledged to donate three million euros to the Civil Protection in Italy, to support the nurses, doctors, scientists and volunteers across Italy who have been working tirelessly to fight the epidemic. The Group will also convert part of its production facilities in Italy and Switzerland to the manufacturing of medical masks, that will provide critical supplies to both Zegna’s employees and to the wider needs in Italy and Switzerland. ​It has also made a direct financial contribution to provide several hospitals with ventilators and medical masks.

On March 26, Ralph Lauren allocated $10m to provide financial grants through the Emergency Assistance Foundation. This will be divided up between Ralph Lauren colleagues facing special circumstances, a contribution to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and go towards the brand's Pink Pony cancer charity, supporting those who are vulnerable at this time. The house will also give an inaugural donation to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) / Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 relief to support the American fashion community impacted by the pandemic.

The American brand is also starting the production of 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns with its U.S. manufacturing partners.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Luxury Italian jewellery house Bulgari ramped up its support on the same day, with the announcement that it will produce several hundreds of thousands of bottles of hand gel in collaboration with its historical fragrances partner, ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi). These will be supplied to all medical facilities through the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection Department).

This effort comes in addition to an initiative announced one month earlier - a major donation to the Research Department of the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome. On March 6, the CEO of Bulgari, Jean-Christophe Babin and Lelio Gavazza, Executive Vice President Sales and Retail, visited the Research Department of the Spallanzani Hospital where they met the virology team and delivered the 3D microscope, purchased through the donation, which they hope will lead to the prevention and treatment of the virus.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Babin said, “We are conscious that the donation is a first small drop in the ocean of research which has to be conducted but thanks to the wonderful people who are working on it day and night with incredible optimism we are sure that in the weeks to come we will make giants steps towards containing and then eradicating coronavirus, not only from Italy, but from the rest of the world.”

Hugo Boss announced on March 26 that it will dedicate the clothing production site at its global headquarters in Metzingen to the manufacture of face masks, which will be donated to public facilities. In the coming weeks, HUGO BOSS will manufacture 180,000 masks. They will be crafted in a cotton-blend material that can be washed and reused at least 50 times. These masks are not for clinical use. However, they can be used in other settings, such as in nursing homes, fire departments, and by police.

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti also announced that, through their Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti Foundation, the duo is donating one million euros to support the fight against the Coronavirus. The donation will benefit the new Columbus Covid 2 Hospital, a new area fully dedicated to the COVID-19 cases at Rome’s Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic. The Columbus Covid 2 Hospital was officially inaugurated on March 21 and is expected to be fully operative next week. 

“In such a dramatic moment for the whole world," said Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti. "We wanted to give our contribution to win this crucial battle against this invisible, but terrible enemy. Our deepest gratitude goes to those women and men who are fighting night and day to save human lives in our hospitals. We will never be thankful enough for the love and dedication they are demonstrating in such a dramatic moment.” 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On the same day, Giorgio Armani announced increased support in the fight against COVID-19. All of its Italian production plants have now switched to manufacturing single use medical overalls, to be used for the  individual protection of healthcare workers engaged in the fight against the Coronavirus. Armani had already made a donation of 2m euros to four Italian hospitals and the national Civil Protection Agency. 

Canada Goose announced on March 25 that the company will leverage its manufacturing facilities to begin production of medical gear for frontline healthcare workers and patients across Canada in the fight against COVID-19. The company will begin making scrubs and patient gowns, which are in short supply across the country, and will begin distributing them to hospitals on the week beginning March 30.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分“Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the frontlines of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities, and they need help. Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good,” said Dani Reiss, President & CEO, Canada Goose. “Our employees are ready, willing and able to help, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s the Canadian thing to do.”

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Earlier in March, Luxury fashion brand Moncler announced a huge contribution of 10m euros to go towards the construction of a hospital with 400 intensive care units in Milan.  The new site will be dedicated to patients testing positive for COVID-19 and is being constructed in the former fairgrounds of the Italian city.  

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分"Milan is a city that has given us all an extraordinary time,” said CEO Remo Ruffini. “We cannot and must not abandon it. It is everyone’s duty to give back to the city that has given us so much.”

In a surprise move, luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns brands such as Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, and beauty labels such as Guerlain, Acqua di Parma and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, announced that it will use its French perfume factories to produce mass quantities of hand sanitiser gel from Monday 16 March.  

The statement read, "Given the risk of a shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault has instructed the LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics business to prepare its production sites to manufacture substantial quantities of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities."

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分It went on, "LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands to produce large quantities of the gel from Monday. It will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities and as a priority from this Monday to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. LVMH will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities.”

On the same day, Prada announced its donation of two entire intensive care units to each of Milan's three biggest hospitals: San Raffaele, Sacco and Vittore Buzzi. Luxury shoe brand Sergio Rossi pledged to give 100% of proceeds from online sales to ASST Fate Bene Fratelli Sacco hospital in Milan. Alongside hoping to inspire shoppers to part with their money for a vital cause, the company also made a donation of 100,000 euros. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On the same day, Giuseppe Santoni, CEO and namesake of the luxury shoe brand Santoni, launched a fundraiser to assist hospitals in the Marche region, kicking it off with a personal donation of 50,000 euros. Marche is one of Italy's high-end shoemaking hubs and has been harshly affected by coronavirus. 

Santoni said, “Marche is the region I belong to, the region where my family, my company, my people are groundedIt’s a beautiful territory that is suffering and that has to prepare to face the even more difficult emergencies that are expected in the next few days. Now I want to give to this region that has always given so much to me.” 

Earlier that week, Italian influencer and businesswoman Chiara Ferragni crowdsourced 3.8m euros for Milan’s San Raffaele hospital. Currently on lockdown with her husband, Italian rapper Fedez, and their son in the family’s Milanese home, Ferragni has been extremely vocal online over the past few weeks about the devastating effect of coronavirus in Italy. 

In one of her diary-style posts she wrote, “every day at 6pm, you’ll find us at the window singing Inno d’Italia. It has probably become my favourite time of the day: a moment that brings us Italians together and makes us feel like one great community. I’ll try to give back all the love that I have in me to this world in this moment of need.” 

But these are just the latest contributions. On February 17, Italian fashion duo Dolce & Gabbana announced a sizable unspecified donation to Humanitas University, in support of a study aiming to understand the responses of the immune system to coronavirus. The goal of the project is, “to lay the basis for developing diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, contributing to the solution of a global problem,” a press release read. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分“We felt we had to do something to fight this devastating virus,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who have already worked with Humanitas University on a scholarship project. “Even a very small gesture can have enormous significance. Supporting scientific research is a moral duty for us, we hope our contribution will help to solve this dramatic problem.”


2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On February 28, the team behind Baselworld announced the world-leading watch show has been 'postponed' from April 30-May 5 this year to January 28-February 2, 2021. A statement was issued following an official ban on large public gatherings by the Swiss federal and cantonal authorities. The ban also prompted the cancellation of the Geneva International Motor Show. 

Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld said, “we deeply regret having had to postpone the event due to the coronavirus, in full consideration of the needs of the watch and jewellery industry to be able to benefit from the platform to develop their business. By postponing the show to January 2021, we have found a solution that enables the industry and all our customers to avoid losing a full year."

The event is the biggest in the horology calendar, and global watch brands rely upon it to showcase their annual offerings and entice clients; the cancellation of this year's fair will have a profound impact on profits. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On February 27, there was an announcement cancelling the fair, which hosts leading brands like Hermès, Cartier, Montblanc and Piaget, and was set to take place in Geneva April 25-29. The statement read, "The Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva has been monitoring the situation linked to the spread of the COVID-19 with the official health bodies. In order to protect the health and wellbeing of the visitors the decision has been taken to cancel the 2020 edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva."

The first cancellation to be confirmed was Swatch Group’s Time to Move showcase in Zurich, debuting the 2020 ranges of watches from its brands including Omega, Blancpain and Harry Winston. When it was called off earlier this month because of the coronavirus it was slightly unexpected, but now it now proves to be a decision that was ahead of the curve. 


On February 27, a communication from , stated that the event, which was initially due to take place April 21-26, has been postponed to June 16-21. The release said that this was due to "the necessary health precautions related to the COVID-19 outbreak."

Earlier that week,, the Milan Furniture Fair, was also postponed from and to the same dates. The team behind the event released a statement saying, "following an extraordinary meeting today of the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, and in view of the ongoing public health emergency, the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming edition of the Salone del Mobile Milan to 16th – 21st June."

It went on to read that the decision was 'strongly supported' by the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, and that this was a 'major show of responsibility.' These announcements all come after Milan Fashion Week, which ran from February 18-24, and was laced with confusion and indecision, with some shows going ahead and others cancelling.

The city is the capital of the Lombardy region in northern Italy where tens of thousands of people have been quarantined having tested positive for the virus. Italy, which is now on lockdown, has seen almost 25,000 cases so far, with a death toll of 1,809.


2020欧洲杯足球即时比分On Sunday February 23, Giorgio Armani cancelled his autumn/winter 2020 show, choosing to send out a filmed version instead. “The decision was taken to safeguard the wellbeing of all his invited guests by not having them attend crowded spaces,” read the brand's press release. At the same time, Michael Kors cancelled its 007 special event which was due to take place that night. 

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Before fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris began, however, luxury labels were already feeling the pinch. British label Burberry announced on Friday 7 February that it was to close 24 of its 64 mainland China stores.  Reports also suggested that almost a quarter of US companies in China expect revenues to take a minimum 16% hit this year due to the spread of the virus. 

The city of Wuhan was the first hit by the virus Credit: STR

Over 80,880 cases of the virus have arisen in China so far. Being the second largest luxury goods market in the world, this looks set to have a knock-on effect on the brands who rely on Asian spending power. The protests in Hong Kong have already sent tremors through the market, but the coronavirus has the potential to become a global threat.

"The outbreak of the coronavirus in mainland China is having a material negative effect on luxury demand," Burberry's CEO Marco Gobbetti said. "While we cannot currently predict how long this situation will last, we remain confident in our strategy."

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Meanwhile, Capri Holdings, which own brands such as Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, has shuttered 150 of its 250 mainland China stores, while Ralph Lauren has closed half of its 115 stores. Sports titan Adidas has temporarily shut a ‘considerable number’ of its 12,000 Chinese stores, it has been reported. 


Thehas reported that global aviation stocks have fallen just 1.6 per cent, on average, since January 23, when many Chinese provinces began reporting Coronavirus cases.

There has been a global effort to reduce as much international travel to and from the region as possible, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advising against all but essential travel to mainland China 2020欧洲杯足球即时比分(including Hong Kong and Macao) and all travel to the Hubei Province, where the outbreak has broken out. Other regions the office is currently advising against visiting are: Cambodia, Iran, northern Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


News also broke earlier this month that Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia’s largest art fair which was due to take place mid-March, has been cancelled. The fair traditionally attracts around 90,000 visitors from the world over, including some of the world’s biggest art galleries, auction houses and collectors. 

CEO of MCH Group, the event management company that runs the fair, Bernd Stadlwieser said, “the decision to cancel Art Basel Hong Kong was an extremely difficult one for us. We explored every other possible option, including postponing the fair, and gathered advice and perspectives from many gallerists, partners, and external experts. However, today, we have no other option but to cancel the fair.” Art Basel will be refunding galleries 75% of the stand fee.

Looking back

It is not the first time that the luxury market has felt the effects of a health epidemic. In 2002-2003 during the global SARS crisis, which emerged in China, the global economy reportedly suffered a $50bn hit. China’s GDP growth slid from 11.1pc year on year in the first quarter of 2003 to 9.1pc in the second quarter. 

But in 2020, China is a far bigger luxury market than it was back then and for many brands it's their bread and butter. This week, the FTSE dropped to its lowest since 2016 with loses in shares of almost £5 trillion worldwide. With a growing number of cases the extent of the impact remains to be seen, and while profit and loss are low priority compared to the human toll, the industry is stealing itself for turbulent times ahead.   

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