The quick spread of COVID-19 has left hospitals and medical workers scrambling for supplies and a shortage of face masks. With people all across the globe chipping in to help, Louis Vuitton just announced that they, too, are using their French workshops to produce hundreds of thousands of non-surgical protective masks and gowns.
Three hundred artisans have been mobilized across workshops in Marsaz and Saint-Donat (Drôme), Saint-Pourçain (Allier), Ducey (Manche), and Sainte-Florence (Vendée) to make the non-surgical masks, and the company has also mobilized their ready-to-wear atelier on Paris' rue de Pont Neuf to make gowns for frontline workers at six Parisian hotels. This came after the French government issued a plea for companies to create more masks to protect frontline healthcare workers.
"As an important French House, Louis Vuitton wishes to commit at its level to producing many thousands of masks that will be distributed within the region, at no charge, to protect those who are most exposed," Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman, and CEO said in a statement. "This production is the fruit of a wonderful collaboration with the regional sector of the textile industry."
This is just the latest fashion brand to use its resources to create masks instead of designer duds. In March, Christian Siriano announced he was using his sewing team to produce thousands of masks within days of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's call to action.
"If we need masks, my team can make them," Siriano posted on his Twitter account hours after the governor's plea. "I have sewers and pattern makers ready to help working from home."
Sadly, Italy and New York City have become coronavirus hot spots with many hospitals revealing there's an extreme shortage of supplies, especially masks. It's precisely those masks that can help protect medical workers from contracting COVID-19. And in the U.S. alone, it's estimated up to 3.5 billion will be needed over the next year.
With such a dire need, other brands and designers have stepped up to the plate to offer support. Brandon Maxwell, who has dressed Margot Robbie, also joined the efforts. And high-end brands like Prada, Balenciaga, Gucci, Saint Laurent, H&M, Citizens of Humanity, Hedley & Bennett, Michael Costello, and Zara have all announced they too would be producing vital medical gear like masks and overalls for those working hard on the front lines.