Balenciaga and YSL Will Start Producing Surgical Masks; Parent Company Kering Is Donating 3 Million Masks From China

Kering is contributing to the coronavirus relief efforts by helping to address mask shortages.

The luxury conglomerate, parent to brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and more, said today that it will provide French health authorities with 3 million surgical masks in the coming days. The masks will be purchased and imported from China.

At the same time, Kering’s Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent workshops in France will begin to manufacture masks once they receive approval from the relevant authorities. Kering says the workshops will comply “with the strictest health protection measures for their staff members.”

Additionally, the umbrella group has donated to the Institut Pasteur,  an international research and education institute, to support its research into the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

The latest batch of donations come in addition to previous contributions made by Kering and its brands to coronavirus relief efforts in China and Italy. In January, Kering donated to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation to help fight the virus. Earlier this month, the corporation donated to the four major foundation hospitals in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio. And most recently, Gucci replied to a call in Tuscany for fashion companies to provide personal protective equipment and is looking to contribute up to 1.1 million masks and 55,000 medical overalls in the coming weeks, subject to approval from the authorities.

Kering is not the only fashion player stepping up amidst the coronavirus pandemic. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury fashion group, on Saturday announced it would order 40 million masks from a Chinese supplier to aid the French medical system in the coronavirus fight. The Louis Vuitton parent previously had said that its cosmetics branch would begin producing “large quantities” of hand sanitizer to deliver to the French authorities at no cost.

In the United States, New York-based fashion designer Christian Siriano has directed his sewing team to begin making masks. And numerous brands, such as Moncler, Kenneth Cole and Zadig & Voltaire, have pledged monetary contributions to assist with coronavirus relief efforts.

Globally, there have been more than 328,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and over 14,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins data. In France, nearly 14,500 cases have been confirmed, and at least 562 have died.

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