As the novel coronavirus continues to flood the world with more than 164 countries affected by the infectious virus, celebrities and executives are rallying together with fruitful donations to battle COVID-19.
With more than 214,000 confirmed global cases, Donatella Versace, LVMH and Bulgari are among the wave of luxury brands donating generous funds and services to help those in need during these unprecedented times.
Cause: San Raffaele Hospital in Italy
Italy has been hit with the largest numbers of COVID-19 cases outside of Asia, recording 475 deaths on 18 March – the highest number of daily deaths to date in the world.
Playing her part, the iconic fashion designer and her daughter Allegra have personally donated a substantial sum to the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy.
“In times like this, it is important to be united and support however we can to help all those who are in the front lines, fighting every day to save hundreds of lives,” Donatella shared online. “This is why Allegra and I have decided to make a personal donation of €200,000 to the intensive care department of San Raffaele hospital in Milan.
“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this disease and to all the doctors and medical staff who have been working heroically nonstop in the past weeks in the effort to take care of our loved ones.
“This is when we, as a society, need to stand together and care for one another.”
Donation: US$2.3 million
Cause: Red Cross Society of China
The luxury maison, which owns Louis Vuitton, reportedly gave RMB16 million to the Red Cross Society of China in January during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in the epicentre of Wuhan.
“In addition, through the Red Cross Foundation of China, the Rottweiler Group will also be dedicated to helping to obtain and provide important scarce supplies in France and throughout Europe,” LVMH said in a statement released in January. “Hope to work together to fight and defeat this new type of coronavirus pneumonia.”
Now, as the pandemic weeps the globe prompting drastic shortages in many hygiene products, LVMH recently announced it would convert three of its perfume manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitiser.
Replacing its usual production of Christian Dior and Givenchy fragrances, the company will produce 12 tonnes of sanitising gel, Sky News reported.
The disinfectant gels will be distributed to French public hospitals as the country goes into a 14-day lockdown.
“These gels will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities,” LVMH said in a statement. “LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands… to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels from 16 March.
“LVMH will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities.”
Donation: Hospitals in north Italy
The CEO and President of Gucci reportedly made a personal donation to eight hospitals in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
Marco made the donation to AUSL IRCCS to aid the healthcare system as more than 35,713 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the European nation.
“Our healthcare system, which is fighting against the COVID-19 emergency in these hours with extreme dedication and heroism, deserves the gratitude and support of us all,” Marco said according to WWD. “The countries that faced this emergency before us proved that the work of scientists and healthcare professionals is precious and that the respect of precautions, albeit strict, is fundamental.”
Donation: €1.25 million
Cause: Italian hospitals
The CEO Magazine’s April cover star generously donated to a number of Italian hospitals and institutes as the nation struggles to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele hospitals as well as the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan and the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome will benefit from the €1.25 million donation, according to WWD.
Donation: Major donation for 3D microscope
Cause: Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani, Rome
The Italian jewellery company donated an undisclosed figure to the Roman research department in hopes of finding a vaccine for COVID-19.
Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani was one of the first medical teams to isolate the DNA of the virus where Bulgari’s pledge allowed for researchers to buy a state-of-the-art microscopic image acquisition system.
“Three extraordinary women – Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Francesca Colavita and Concetta Castilletti – are among the first in Europe that have succeeded in isolating the virus structure,” Bulgari announced.
Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin visited the Research Department of the Lazzara Spallanzani Hospital along with Bulgari Executive Vice President Sales and Retail Lelio Gavazza to deliver the 3D microscope, which is fundamental to finding prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“We are conscious that the donation is a first small drop in the ocean of research that has to be conducted, but thanks to the wonderful people who are working on it day and night with incredible optimism,” Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said. “We are sure that in the weeks to come, we will make giant steps to contain first and then eradicate COVID-19, not only from Italy but from the rest of the world.”
Donation: Funding for six ICU centres
Cause: Hospitals in Milan, Italy
The luxury Italian powerhouse announced it would provide funding for six new ICU centres in the world’s fashion capital Milan.
“Prada SpA’s co-CEOs and Chairman have donated two complete intensive care and resuscitation units each to Milan’s hospitals of Vittore Buzzi, Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele,” the company said in a statement.
The coronavirus emergency donation comes from Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, his Co-CEO Miuccia Prada and Chairman Carlo Mazzi.
Donation: More than €2 million
Cause: Italian healthcare institutes
The parent company of brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Pomellato and Balenciaga pledged €2 million to support the fight against COVID-19.
“Our thoughts are with the many impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak and, therefore, we have decided to donate the funds as an immediate contribution to assist,” Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault told WWD.
The publication reported that hospitals across Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio are among those benefitting from the generous support.
Earlier in the year, Kering donated US$1.1 million to the Red Cross in China to support those heavily impacted in Hubei.
“The donation will be used for frontline prevention and control work (including care for hospital medical staff and patients) as well as training and public health education,” the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation stated.
Other companies fighting COVID-19
The beauty brand donated US$720,000 to China in the fight against the pandemic.
Almost half a million US dollars was contributed to the COVID-19 efforts by the Australia glass experts.
The cosmetics giant pledged US$300,000 to China to help battle the virus.
The Chinese multinational created a US$144 million fund for medical supplies for the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan in the Hubei province. It also offered AI computing power to research organisations searching for treatments.