The Latest in Spring Fashion

Masks for Spring? Groundbreaking.

A shift from the typical florals, silk shirts and day dresses, fashion this Spring looks a lot more clinical. As more and more cases of coronavirus are reported on a daily basis, hospitals across Europe are becoming increasingly overwhelmed. Specifically, the ever-growing number of cases is proving to be a burden on the limited supply of personal protective equipment, including masks.

Black Label Fashion

Some of the world’s most famous designer brands are doing their bit to support the coronavirus outbreak. Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Balenciaga are some of the big names reportedly stepping in to produce and supply masks. Prada has vowed to produce a grand total of 110,000 masks by April 6th while Gucci has promised more than 1 million. LVMH, the French luxury goods multinational conglomerate, has pledged to support the French authorities. The corporation, which owns Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, amongst other luxury brands, will be supplying the French authorities with over 40 million face masks purchased from a Chinese manufacturer. LVMH had previously announced that they would be devoting three of its luxury perfume factories to the production of hand sanitiser. 

Big Names in Fashion

Italian Fashion Designers have set the trend for altruism and philanthropy this season not just in production lines but directly to the wards. CEOs of Prada have donated two new intensive care units at each of the three biggest hospitals in Milan, increasing the total capacity for patients by 1.2%. Dolce & Gabbana have backed the funding of a research study into coronavirus in an effort to find a cure faster. Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Gucci are amongst the other Italian fashion brands who have donated large sums of money directly to the hospitals hit hardest across Italy.

High Street Fashion

Many high-street fashion favourites are starting to follow suit and manufacture face masks. Spanish-owned international conglomerate Zara have already donated 10,000 surgical masks with a minimum of 300,000 further masks to be sent in the coming week. H&M have also worked to rearrange their supply chain and prioritise the production of protective equipment. Mango has announced that it will be donating 2 million face masks to Spanish hospitals.

Independent Designers and UK Efforts

In the UK, independent labels are working to create an emergency designer network. The British Fashion Council have sent a call to action to any of those with production capacity in order to help the supply of protective equipment. This comes after complaints within the NHS of shortages of protective wear despite UK health secretary Matt Hancock assuring the public that there are millions of masks available. Reportedly, London paramedics are being rationed to one face mask between two people. Kurt Geiger have redirected their floor staff while stores are closed, using the workforce to volunteer in local communities. Not only is this an act of altruism helping many in need, it is a way for the British retailer to guarantee continued salary for all its staff.

Smaller companies have worked to make an impact. French fashion label Coperni uploaded a paper pattern of a mask to their website, imploring amateur sewers to produce masks from their homes. 

As the fashion industry steps up its efforts, the trend to follow this season is “work from home chic” with an increased preference for loungewear, tracksuit bottoms and slippers.