Editorial: What Is Our Industry Waiting For?

Over one month ago, American brands such as Nestle, Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble, Apple, and Dell donated funds, supplies and offered other support to the Chinese, amid their outbreak. Why hasn’t the American fashion industry stepped up to the plate to help out in this country and especially, here in New York, the fashion capital of the nation?

Last week, there were confirmations that several high profile French and European labels and conglomerates have made significant financial donations to healthcare institutions across Italy and France to help stem the pandemic.

According to news reports, Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Versace Beck donated 200,000 euros to the intensive care ward of Milan’s San Raffaele hospital. Sergio Rossi made a 100,000 euro donation to Milan’s Fatebenefratelli and Luigi Sacco hospitals, and they are donating all proceeds from sales on Sergiorossi.com to help fight the outbreak.

The Carla Fendi Foundation has made a 100,000 euro donation to Rome’s Presidio Sanitario Columbus. Giorgio Armani donated 1.25 million euros to the Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele hospitals and the Isituto dei Tumori in Milan and the Istitituo Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome. Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri made a personal donation of 100,000 euros to the Ausl IRCCS of Reggio Emilia.

French conglomerate Kering donated 2 million euros to healthcare institutions across Italy and France. LVMH is using a perfume production site for manufacturing hand sanitizers, which will be delivered to French authorities and the Assitance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, the largest hospital system in Europe.

New York, which is the fashion capital of the country, is in state of emergency. A recent CFDA post, “CFDA Resources For Navigating COVID-19 Coronavirus Business Challenges,” acknowledged there will be numerous challenges facing designers in both their” personal lives and professional operations,” and they listed some services they can navigate to find out more information.

But, where are the multi-billion dollar American brands in all of this? Why haven’t Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and other US major brands stepped up and offered financial support?

What are they waiting for?

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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