Iconic fashion house Chanel has announced on Sunday that they will be working on surgical mask prototypes and launch production of masks to support health workers in France where the Coronavirus is spreading through the country.
The news came after the Parisian house decided to temporarily close production sites across France, Switzerland and Italy due to the global pandemic, where France is reportedly using 40 million face masks per week between health workers, police and nursing home carers – who are now complaining of shortages. Chanel is developing a surgical mask prototype and will begin production and distribution once approved by French authorities.
"Today we are mobilising our workforce and our partners... to produce protective masks and blouses," Chanel announced in a statement on Sunday.
Despite the cancellation of Paris Men’s and Couture week, and the downturn in economic activity in the past months, Chanel have announced that they will continue to employ their 4,500 staff members through this large unemployment period, as they work to combat the economic devastation COVID-19 threatens.
CHANEL’s news was announced in line with other large fashion houses and corporations showing their support to their health systems by manufacturing protective gear for those on the frontlines since supplies are dwindling. LVMH has announced their intention to produce hand sanitizer and donate 40m face masks in the coming weeks to French authorities, while Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, all owned by Kering, will also be producing high volumes of surgical masks.