As COVID-19 turns the industry on its head, we round up all the latest developments in this ongoing list
Given the industry is built on globalisation, the movement of people, things, and ideas is fundamental to maintaining today’s fashion landscape. The past two months, however, have seen this structure ripped from underneath the industry’s feet, as the world has gradually entered a near-total lockdown as a result of coronavirus.
The global pandemic is having unprecedented effects on everyone, and the fashion industry is no different. From student designers who are seeing their graduate shows cancelled, to retailers forced to close their shops; luxury brands calling off their blockbuster presentations to garment makers seeing their income taken away and factory workers having to carry out their jobs in unsafe conditions, the current situation has impacted everyone in the industry on a multitude of levels.
Though things continue to shift and shake on a daily basis, through all this the fashion world has stepped up to provide as much help as it can during this outbreak. It has transformed its factories into production facilities to create necessary items such as facemasks, it has donated money, and has put forward a number of online initiatives to help keep spirits up during isolation, and in the process, it has proven itself to be an essential player in the fight against coronavirus.
With developing news about what is going on coming in thick and fast, understandably, it's pretty hard to keep up with everything. With that in mind, we have created an at-a-glance list detailing events happening in the industry, who's doing what, and how it continues to help in the fight against coronavirus, which we will continue to update from here on out.
WHAT FASHION IS DOING TO HELP
Burberry is funding the vaccine research currently happening at Oxford University. The British luxury label has also converted its Yorkshire factory into a facility to make surgical masks, as well as non-surgical gowns and masks.
Chanel has announced its plan to start making masks, once given the greenlight by the French government. The French label has also donated €1.2 million to an emergency fund for the public hospital system in France, and has guaranteed it will be paying its workers eight weeks worth of salaries.
In Ukraine, stylist Nadiia Shapoval reached out to the fashion community to help create equipment after a nurse was fired for refusing to enter a hospital room with a patient who had coronavirus, without being given the necessary protective clothing. Now, a team is producing 7,000 suits, with 200-300 disposable suits being made per-day.
Students on the Fashion and Textiles course at Central Saint Martins are helping to create non-surgical scrubs for NHS staff. The patterns will be available for anyone to download through the CSM website imminently.
Hermès pledged to donate €20 million to public hospitals in Paris. The house also revealed it will maintain its basic salary for its employees.
Mayhoola, the parent company of Balmain, will donate €1 million to the French charity La Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris - Hôpitaux de France. Supporting the Montfermeil and Delafontaine hospitals, each hospital will receive €400,000 to procure equipment and will also receive €100,000 to support the health and well-being of medical staff.
Dilara Findikoglu will be donating a percentage of the money made from the sales of her SS20 collection to the Artists and Freelancers Hardship Fund. She has also announced an upcoming series of online projects with a number of photographers.
Louis Vuitton has repurposed its French workshops to make non-surgical face masks. With hundreds of artisans from the luxury label volunteering, the initiative hopes to battle COVID-19 and protect frontline health workers.
Christopher Kane is giving away free craft packs to make your own face masks from, in a bid to ensure people are not taking away supplies from medical personnel who desperately need them. Each pack is set to be made up using past-season fabrics. Email email@example.com with your full name and UK postal address to receive one.
London-based designers Phoebe English, Holly Fulton, Bethany Williams and Cozette McCreery have formed the Emergency Designer Network, a group working with an ever-increasing number of small-scale UK manufacturers and designers to create much needed garments for medical workers fighting back against COVID-19. As well as calling on skilled sewers, sample machinists, and anyone who has a background in the garment industry to lend their time and effort to the initiative (get in touch here), the EDN is also welcoming donations large and small to help fund the purchase of materials. Visit their GoFundMe here.
Loewe is set to donate 100,000 surgical masks to the Spanish Red Cross, in addition to making non-surgical masks for volunteer workers and Loewe employees and their families. The luxury house also plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from its upcoming capsule collection to educational projects, starting with an initial gift of €500,000.
Bottega Veneta has announced it will provide funding for a number of scholarships to support the advancement of coronavirus-related research in Italy. With money also going to help medical professionals, Daniel Lee, the Creative Director of Bottega Veneta, said: “With these scholarships, we are able to contribute to securing the future of our global health by supporting their admirable and courageous work.”
Mulberry is producing re-usable PPE gowns in its Somerset factories for the University of Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. Hoping to produce over 8,000 gowns, elsewhere the label has raised over £75,000 through its Coronavirus Appeal, made in support of the National Emergencies Trust.
Gucci and Kering Foundation’s Chime For Change initiative has launched #StandWithWomen – a new campaign aimed at raising awareness and funds for non-profit organisations supporting women around the world. Announced by Chime For Change co-founder Salma Hayek, the project is a response to news that gender-based violence and domestic abuse levels have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic.
KEY FASHION EVENTS
The menswear season, slated to kick off in June, will no longer happen as scheduled. Paris Fashion Week has cancelled its events, while Millan’s shows will now take place in September shortly before the womenswear season. Pitti Immagine Uomo, set to take place in Florence, will also be postponed until September.
The upcoming AW20 Haute Couture presentations have also been cancelled, along with the Cruise shows, which have all been postponed indefinitely.
London Fashion Week has announced its upcoming SS21 season, slated to take place in June, will now be presented digitally. As well as this, both the menswear and womenswear shows will be combined, creating a gender-neutral event. Kicking off on June 12, the shows will be open to both industry insiders and a wider audience of consumers, with talks, workshops, and presentations all scheduled.
Saint Laurent has announced it will not show any collections during the predetermined fashion week schedules for the rest of the year. Usually showing during Paris Fashion Week, instead, the label will present collections at its own pace, following the disruption caused to the fashion world by COVID-19. Speaking in a statement, the luxury house said: “Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimating the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives.”
The Alexander McQueen label has started a series entitled McQueen Creators. Asking its followers to make art based on a selection of images, with a new artistic challenge announced each week. This week sees the launch of a photography-based task which asks particpants to submit snapshots of nature in quarantine, with the likes of Lea Colombo and Chloe Le Drezen having already shared their own images. Upload your entry onto social media under the hashtag #McQueenCreators for a chance to be featured across the house’s social platforms.
Bottega Veneta has launched a virtual residency, which will see collaborators and wider talent celebrate what inspires them. Entitled the Bottega Residency, the initiative will take place over the weekends with a series of events including live musical performances, cooking, and film nights.
Selfridges has created a virtual gallery, displaying pieces by a number of photographers who explore themes of the home in their work. With pieces by Pixy Liao, Ashley Armitage, and TOILETPAPER magazine, the department store encourages you to also create works of art in your home as part of wider project encouraging creativity during lockdown.
JW Anderson has introduced a series of video Q&A sessions on its Instagram page. Entitled JWQ&A, followers are invited to ask questions to a number of friends of the brand, with the initiative kicked off by photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell.
Taking place on Instagram, Lacoste launched #CrocoDraw, a call to its creative community to showcase their talents by drawing or handcrafting the label’s infamous crocodile motif. Share your creations online with the tags @Lacoste and #CrocoDraw for a chance to win a prize.
Prada is launching a new conversation series that will see a range of creative thinkers, cultural arbiters, and fashion figures across the world go head-to-head. Entitled #PradaPossibleConversations, for each conversation Prada will donate to the organisation UNESCO, which is working hard to help battle COVID-19.
Dior is virtually reopening its Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, which was held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. From Haute Couture dresses and archival photographs to sketches by Christian Dior himself, the online exhibition will take you through the 70-year history of the esteemed French luxury house via its YouTube and Instagram channels.
For those looking to get creative in the kitchen (and have eaten enough banana bread to last them approx. 18 years), Dior has also released a list of Christian Dior’s favourite recipes which is now available as a digital download (click here for more). Elsewhere, on its Instagram and YouTube channels, the French house invites followers to take a dance class, courtesy of choreography lessons helmed by the Paris Opera Ballet’s principal dancer Sébastien Bertaud. Head here to join in.
Kenzo has launched a community-focused programme called #stayhomewithKENZO. The series of weekly events are set to take place on the label’s Instagram Live, with music, creative workshops, and talks all on the line-up.
Valentino is hosting a series of live performances on its Instagram. Entitled #ChezMaisonValentino, the label kicked things off with a performance from Alicia Keys in April. Tomorrow (May 8) wiill see writer and model Yrsa Daley-Ward in session for the label.
adidas is releasing its second episode of CreatorU, a masterclass about breaking into the footwear design industry from the brand’s creative director for adidas running, Sam Handy. Taking place over the next six weeks, the series is part of adidas’ #hometeam initiative and is available to watch on Youtube here.
Teaming up with professor and exhibition-maker Judith Clark, French fashion house Lanvin is debuting a series of short films. Entitled Lanvin Dialogues, the weekly clips will see Clark invite experts, critics, and artists in to discuss and reflect on the brand’s 131-year-old history. Head over to the label’s IG to tune in and watch the full series.
Hedi Slimane has delved into his little black book to enlist a number of his collaborators for a new project. As part of Celine’s Portrait series, the likes of Joan Jett, Shawn Kuruneru, and Lucia and the Best Boys will offer a snapshot of their talent and creativity while in lockdown, with a number of videos set to be shared across the French house’s social media channels in the weeks to come. Head here for more.
HELP FOR FASHION CREATIVES
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help artists and freelancers during this time. Visit Artists and Freelancers Hardship Fund to find out more and donate.