How Chanel Is Stepping Up Its Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Chanel is unveiling a series of relief efforts to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The house will start making protective face masks and medical gowns to boost dwindling supplies in France. Rather than participate in the government’s partial unemployment scheme, it will also fund the salaries of employees itself.

In a statement released to FN, the company said that it was mobilizing its partner manufacturers and teams, including around 150 sewing specialists from the haute couture, ready-to-wear and Métiers d’Arts workshops, stating: “We have started the approval process with the public authorities and will launch production as soon as the prototypes and raw materials have been approved.” The luxury brand previously donated over 50,000 face masks to hospitals, firefighters and police.

Furthermore, it will show its support for hospitals and other health-care institutions by making a financial contribution of $1.3 million to the emergency fund created by Fondation de l’AP-HP (the public hospital system for the city of Paris), the Fondation Georges Pompidou and the SAMU (French emergency services). These sums will be used to support hospital workers who have been on the front line since the start of the epidemic.

The move came as French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday that the country was using 40 million masks per week. He announced that the government had ordered over a billion from China to ease shortages.

Chanel will also fully maintain the salaries of its 8,500 employees in France, including the Métiers d’Arts manufacturing and production sites as well as ERES, for a period of eight weeks from March 16 to May 8.

The goal, it said, “is to avoid placing a burden on public finances so that the French government can help the most vulnerable businesses as a priority and, of course, channel its financing into the health-care system, health-care workers and emergency services.”

In Europe, images of windows and balconies have become an enduring symbol of confinement, and Chanel added its own visual take via Instagram.

Instead of using the platform to trumpet its relief measures, it has simply posted powerful and thought-provoking images.

Among those featured: Gabrielle Chanel, Heidi Mount-Whitworth, Gaspard Ulliel and Diane Kruger. The images, photographed by Alexander Liberman, Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh and Steve McQueen, all feature their subjects looking out from windows and surveying the world below.

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