Gucci, Balenciaga, and More Kering-Owned Brands Pledge to Manufacture Face Masks Amid Coronavirus

And for its part, parent company Kering will donate three million masks to the French health service.

Manufacturing face masks at Zdravmedtech garment factory in Novosibirsk Region, Russia
Kirill KukhmarGetty Images

Paris-based luxury conglomerate Kering and some of its most well-known brands have revealed how they'll help during the coronavirus pandemic.

To start, Kering will purchase three million masks from China and donate them to the French health service. The company has also donated an undisclosed sum to the Institut Pasteur, a non-profit dedicated to preventing and treating infectious diseases, to support its research into COVID-19.

And three of Kering's individual labels are pledging to help. Balenciaga and Saint Laurent's French workshops will pivot to produce face masks. Production will begin "as soon as the manufacturing process and materials have been approved by the relevant authorities."

France Faces The Coronavirus
A Balenciaga store in Paris, forced to close amid the coronavirus.
Stephane Cardinale - CorbisGetty Images

Previously, Italian brand Gucci promised to produce and donate supplies, responding to the Regione Toscana's call to fashion companies. Kering says it could produce up to 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls, "subject to relevant authorizations." Kering and its subsidiaries have also made donations to hospitals in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany, and Lazio.

Kering's announcements follow those of competitor LVMH. Facilities that produce cosmetics and perfume for LVMH-owned brands like Guerlain, Christian Dior, and Givenchy have begun manufacturing large quantities of hand sanitizer, and the conglomerate has promised to donate 40 million face masks to France.

On this side of the Atlantic, designer Christian Siriano is having his sewers work on reusable face masks—coverings that will hopefully be washable, to be used by non-medical hospital staff like social workers and receptionists, per WWD. Meanwhile, nine other companies—American Giant, Fruit of the Loom, Hanesbrands, Parkdale Inc., Los Angeles Apparel, AST Sportswear, American Knits, Beverly Knits, and Riegel Linen—have formed a "coalition" to produce medical-grade masks.

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