No question, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the worse in some people, communities and political leaders. Yet, in amongst the anger, accusations, hypocrisy and conspiracy theories, beacons of good continue to shine brightly.
One of the latest good Samaritans to rally behind the cause is huge luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. Founded in 1854, the French icon is one of the most recognised and respected luxury brands in the world. Now it can add some timely local benevolence to that reputation.
Paris calling for medical gowns
As the pandemic took its toll on Parisians, there was a drastic shortage of medical gowns in Paris hospitals. Healthcare professionals were at serious risk if a new source of protective gowns couldn’t be found quickly.
As it happens, Louis Vuitton were already providing millions of surgical face masks to help brave front-line heath workers as France’s COVID-19 cases rose dramatically early in the pandemic.
In collaboration with another French fashion giant, Kering, Louis Vuitton offered to source a whopping 40 million surgical masks via its connections in China and pay for the entire first week’s shipments themselves – more than $5 million euros. .
Kering also manufactured masks locally to help meet the seemingly endless demand.
Then, when there was a desperate need for medical gowns, Louis Vuitton again answered the call.
Safety by design
Of course, the Louis Vuitton brand has built its reputation on innovative luxury products with the legendary LV monogram appearing on everything from apparel and shoes to handbags and jewellery.
However, this critical project was more about substance than style. Not only did the team at Louis Vuitton seek to fill a need, they knew lives were at stake. The gowns they produced had to be up to industry standards and approved by governing hospital bodies to guarantee their effectiveness.
Workrooms at Louis Vuitton’s Maison’s headquarters were duly transformed to make thousands of medical gowns around the clock and deliver them to hospitals across Paris.
Day and night, the LV team toiled to equip Paris’s frontline healthcare workers with the protective barriers they needed to minimise their risk in close proximity to patients carrying the COVID19 virus.
Twenty dedicated volunteers turned their skills to pattern-making and gown-making on a grand scale with even more working remotely to ensure effective social distancing.
A new fashion trend
Perhaps inspired by the generosity of its French counterparts, Prada in neighbouring Italy then announced plans to supply the Tuscany region with essential protective equipment now in dangerously short supply.
Prada pledged the production of more than one hundred thousand face masks and eighty thousand medical overalls. If that wasn’t enough to win them serious brownie points, they financed six new ICUs in Milan.
The Rolls Royce of ventilators
When the pandemic forced luxury car maker Rolls Royce to put all operations at their UK plant on hold, they didn’t sit on their hands. Instead they joined the groundswell of corporate kindness by producing essential medical equipment, including ventilators. It’s heartwarming to see that even in times of personal and corporate crisis, conglomerates are ready to stand up and make a difference.
Article originally published https://robbreport.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/louis-vuitton-medical-gowns-2913517/