Fashion industry leaders voice support for anti-racism protests

Fashion industry leaders, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, have pledged their support for the anti-racism protests taking place across the U.S.Numerous demonstrations have been staged across the nation in recent days in response to the shocki…

Fashion industry leaders, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, have pledged their support for the anti-racism protests taking place across the U.S.

Numerous demonstrations have been staged across the nation in recent days in response to the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on 25 May. All four police officers involved have been fired and one, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes.

Accordingly, prominent members of the fashion community have since taken to social media to share their outrage over the incident and to champion the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We all want to make a good life for ourselves and our loved ones. To have the opportunity to achieve this is an essential human right. The abhorrent acts of racism happening across America betray this and everything I believe in,” said Lauren in a statement, while Hilfiger added in a post on his personal Instagram account: “What is happening in this country is not OK/ What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – and countless others – is not OK. We need action. To achieve change we have to be fearless in speaking out and standing up for what is right.”

Elsewhere, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen bosses confirmed they would be making donations to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Vivienne Westwood noted she was “horrified” by Floyd’s death and encouraged those taking part in protests to wear masks and social distance in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, while luxury footwear designer Brian Atwood begged anyone who didn’t support the demonstrations to unfollow him on Instagram immediately.

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PETA buys shares in fashion brands amid coronavirus market downturn

Activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis by acquiring stock in multiple fashion companies.On Tuesday, leaders at the animal rights organisation seized upon the market downturn caused…

Activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis by acquiring stock in multiple fashion companies.

On Tuesday, leaders at the animal rights organisation seized upon the market downturn caused by the covid-19 pandemic to buy up stocks in Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, and Guess, among others.

A minimum number of shares have been purchased – just enough for PETA representatives to attend annual meetings and influence management decisions.

PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman explained that the organisation is specifically focused on banning wool, mohair, and cashmere.

“PETA is heading to the boardroom to pressure retailers from Ralph Lauren to Urban Outfitters not to sell items that animals suffered and died for,” she commented.

In recent years, members of the group have investigated many supplies to the fashion retailers and alleged that practices are often sorely lacking. In 2018, an expose of the mohair industry in South Africa, available to view on YouTube, revealed Angora goats were thrown across the room, cut, and needlessly slaughtered for their valuable fibres.

Cashmere farms in China and Mongolia were reported to be similarly abusive to animals, with goats screaming in pain as hair was torn from their bodies.

“Today’s kind consumers want to support companies that share their values and sell chic and comfortable vegan sweaters and coats only,” added Reiman.

Other brands targeted by PETA in the initiative include Burberry, Tapestry, Inc., the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, Under Armour, and Capri Holdings, which incorporates Michael Kors and Versace.

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Ralph Lauren foregoing salary to soften impact of coronavirus crisis on label

Fashion icon Ralph Lauren has eschewed his entire salary for 2021.Many of the American clothing brand’s stores have been forced to close temporarily amid the intensifying coronavirus in March, though bosses at the company recently announced that fulfil…

Fashion icon Ralph Lauren has eschewed his entire salary for 2021.

Many of the American clothing brand’s stores have been forced to close temporarily amid the intensifying coronavirus in March, though bosses at the company recently announced that fulfilment centres and online ordering would soon be available again.

However, Lauren released a statement on Tuesday in which he and his colleagues at the Ralph Lauren Corporation outlined the ways they will endeavour to support workers and shareholders throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The impact of Covid-19 on the world, on our industry and on our business is profound and wide-reaching,” said Lauren, the company’s executive chairman and chief creative officer. “For more than 50 years, we have embraced the idea of timelessness – focusing on what lasts. It has defined not only our products but our business and our culture.”

Lauren added that the principle of timelessness would help Ralph Lauren Corporation weather the economic impact of the pandemic, adding: “So that we will not only endure this crisis but thrive again for years to come.”

As well as deferring from his salary, Lauren will not draw his 2020 yearly bonus. The sacrifice is just one of several made at an executive level at the company.

President and chief executive officer Patrice Louvet will reduce his salary by 50 per cent, and the executive and global eadership teams will reduce their salaries by 20 per cent for the first fiscal quarter of 2021.

The Board of Directors will also take a cut, renouncing all cash compensation for 2021’s first quarter.

A portion of the reductions will go to Ralph Lauren Company’s Employee Relief Fund, administered by the Emergency Assistance Foundation, which offers grants to employees suffering financial hardships.

In a statement announcing the mitigations, a company representative said it is “focused on the need to support our employees and safeguard our business so that we are positioned to emerge quickly from this crisis in a place of strength.”

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Tiffany & Co. pledges $1 million donation to coronavirus relief efforts

Executives at Tiffany & Co. have pledged to donate $1 million (£813,000) to organisations helping tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives for the luxury jewellery brand announced they were making the donation commitment via The Tiffany & Co….

Executives at Tiffany & Co. have pledged to donate $1 million (£813,000) to organisations helping tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives for the luxury jewellery brand announced they were making the donation commitment via The Tiffany & Co. Foundation on Monday. The donation will be split between two organisations, with $750,000 (£610,000) going to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the other $250,000 (£203,000) going to The New York Community Trust’s NYC Covid-19 Response & Impact Fund.

In addition, the foundation will match employee donations to any qualified nonprofit organisation supporting Covid-19 relief, dollar for dollar.

“Since its inception in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been guided by the belief that a successful company has a responsibility to the greater community,” representatives wrote in a statement. “Today, more than ever, there is a need for communities to come together. This commitment allows us to respond to the urgent needs on a global scale, while also supporting our hometown of New York City.”

“During this global health crisis, we must all be responsive to the urgent needs of our global communities. We are proud to support organizations providing immediate relief for communities impacted by Covid-19, including our hometown of New York,” added Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

Executives at the foundation, which was established in 2000 to provide grants to those working in environmental conservation, have signed Philanthropy’s Commitment During Covid-19 Pledge, a commitment to supporting their grantees throughout the crisis.

Tiffany & Co. follows in the footsteps of brands including Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors in making donations towards coronavirus relief efforts, while New York-based designers such as Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell have begun making protective equipment for medical personnel.

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Ralph Lauren restores online shipping during coronavirus crisis

Ralph Lauren has ended the temporary closure of its fulfilment centres and recommenced online ordering.As the coronavirus crisis intensified in March, bosses at the fashion company suspended all workers from entering the North American and European dis…

Ralph Lauren has ended the temporary closure of its fulfilment centres and recommenced online ordering.

As the coronavirus crisis intensified in March, bosses at the fashion company suspended all workers from entering the North American and European distribution centres, stores, and offices. Subsequently, all workspaces have undergone intensive deep cleaning, with Patrice Louvet, Ralph Lauren’s president and chief executive officer announcing on Wednesday that all distribution centres would soon be reopened.

“The health and safety of our teams, customers and communities come first, and our thoughts are with the many impacted by this global pandemic,” he said, before elaborating on how his team is seeking to ensure “that the strength of our global business endures over the long-term”.

Newly mandated procedures include onsite social distancing, and staggered work shifts and break schedules, to avoid workers congregating in one place.

Although the shipping of digital and wholesale orders is resuming, Ralph Lauren’s retail stores and corporate offices will remain closed. A statement on the label’s website promised that the company would “continue to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the pandemic outbreak on its operations, and it may take additional measures as and when it is deemed appropriate.”

The reopening was announced in tandem with the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s commitment to give $10 million (£8 million) to its teams, partners, and communities impacted by the coronavirus. Additionally, company leaders have vowed to produce 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns to boost America’s dwindling supplies.

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Anna Wintour cried over Ralph Lauren’s $10 million coronavirus donation

Anna Wintour cried when she heard that Ralph Lauren had donated $10 million (£8.1 million) to aid the battle against the coronavirus.In an op-ed for Vogue.com, the editor-in-chief opened up about the fashion industry’s response to the global pandemic,…

Anna Wintour cried when she heard that Ralph Lauren had donated $10 million (£8.1 million) to aid the battle against the coronavirus.

In an op-ed for Vogue.com, the editor-in-chief opened up about the fashion industry’s response to the global pandemic, which has so far infected more than 801,000 people, with almost 38,700 deaths, since the outbreak began in December.

Wintour shared her joy about the American designer’s generous donation, which was made via his foundation. The donation was spread across a range of organisations, including the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, which helps struggling designers during the crisis.

“Positivity is such a precious commodity right now, but I felt something close to pure joy in recent days,” Wintour wrote. “My emotions, like yours I’m sure, are fairly close to the surface, but I’m not afraid to admit that I broke down on the phone with Ralph when he called to give me the incredible news about his gift.”

The 70-year-old was overjoyed to see the likes of fashion conglomerates Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and Kering rally round to support emergency workers on the frontlines in hospitals, as well as designers such as Miuccia Prada and Donatella Versace make personal donations to hard-hit hospitals.

“American fashion and beauty companies have been mobilising too, making masks, gowns and hand sanitiser. I have never been more proud of our industry,” she wrote.

She concluded her touching op-ed with a reminder that the pandemic will soon pass.

“There is so much loss and sadness now, but I keep hearing from friends and family members by phone and FaceTime and I know these weeks of isolation are reminding us how important our human connections are,” Wintour shared. “It will be impossible to take those connections for granted once this is behind us.”

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Ralph Lauren donates $10 million towards coronavirus crisis relief efforts

Ralph Lauren has donated $10 million (£8.2 million) to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.In an announcement on Thursday, the American fashion icon confirmed that executives at his charitable foundation would be dispersing the money in…

Ralph Lauren has donated $10 million (£8.2 million) to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In an announcement on Thursday, the American fashion icon confirmed that executives at his charitable foundation would be dispersing the money in order to aid organisations, workers, and communities in providing vital support and services to those in need.

“At the heart of our company, there has always been a spirit of togetherness that inspires our creativity, our confidence and most importantly our support for one another,” Lauren said. “In the past weeks and months, that spirit has never wavered. We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected. That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis.”

The huge donation will be used in a number of ways in the U.S. and around the world, including contributing to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting vulnerable cancer patients through Lauren’s existing Pink Pony Fund, and providing emergency financial grants for the Emergency Assistance Foundation.

Employees at the Ralph Lauren label will also be producing 25,000 gowns and 250,000 masks for doctors, nurses, and health care workers on the frontline.

“We recognise that this is an unprecedented, multifaceted crisis which demands different responses for different needs in different places. That is why we are funding multiple activities to support our teams, our partners and our communities around the world,” added Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer of The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation.

Lauren and Louvet have also committed to donating to the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund and those in the American fashion community impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren closing stores due to coronavirus outbreak

Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren are to temporarily close many of their stores amid the coronavirus outbreak.More than 221,000 people across 176 countries have been infected with the Covid-19 virus, which began in Wuhan, China back in December, and almost 9,0…

Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren are to temporarily close many of their stores amid the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 221,000 people across 176 countries have been infected with the Covid-19 virus, which began in Wuhan, China back in December, and almost 9,000 have died.

On Wednesday, Ford issued a statement on social media and confirmed that his boutiques in North America, Italy, and Switzerland will temporarily close, but online orders will still be available.

“We are all experiencing a tremendous amount of difficulty as the impact of the Covid-19 virus is felt around the world. This is an unprecedented situation, and I know that each of us is trying to manage not only our respective areas of business but our personal lives as well,” he said. “Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees, clients, and colleagues.”

Ford went on to note that he and his team will be adhering to official guidelines from health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the “ongoing spread of Covid-19 and the incredible speed with which the situation is changing”.

“By supporting each other and working together, we will overcome these difficult times. I wish you and your families all the best,” the 58-year-old concluded.

Lauren also made the decision to shutter his stores in North America and select countries until 1 April. Store employees will continue to be paid during that time.

“The wellbeing of our teams, friends, and family around the world is what matters most right now,” he said in a statement on Instagram and Twitter. “We encourage you to focus on your family, your safety and your health. It is our hope that we can inspire optimism and unity.”

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Dior postpones cruise show due to coronavirus outbreak

Dior has postponed its upcoming cruise show due to the escalating coronavirus outbreak. The French house, headed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri, had been planning to stage its cruise show on 9 May in Lecce, Italy.However, leaders at the company have now de…

Dior has postponed its upcoming cruise show due to the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

The French house, headed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri, had been planning to stage its cruise show on 9 May in Lecce, Italy.

However, leaders at the company have now decided to delay the event indefinitely, with a new date to be announced in due course, depending on how the crisis evolves.

“As a preventive measure, in accordance with instructions from public authorities, and to reinforce the coordination of international directives, the House of Dior has decided to postpone its cruise show in order to ensure the safety of all its employees, collaborators and guests… Our thoughts are with everyone who is affected by this pandemic, all over the world,” Dior representatives said in a statement provided to WWD.

At present, Italy is the hardest hit nation outside of China, where Covid-19 originated in December.

As a result of the increasing cases, totalling more than 24,700, the country has been placed on lockdown, with all non-essential shops, bars, and restaurants closed and all major sporting and cultural events cancelled.

Dior follows in the footsteps of Gucci, which has postponed its cruise show in San Francisco, California on 18 May, Prada, which has indefinitely pushed back its presentation in Tokyo, Japan on 21 May, Versace, which has shelved its runway show on 16 May at an unknown American location, and Giorgio Armani, which has postponed its cruise show in Dubai in April.

Ralph Lauren has also decided to not go ahead with its fall 2020 show, which was scheduled for April in New York, while fashion weeks in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing have been scrapped.

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Versace and Giorgio Armani cancel cruise shows over coronavirus fears

Versace and Giorgio Armani have cancelled their upcoming cruise shows amid growing concerns over the coronavirus.The Italian fashion houses have become the latest additions to a growing list of luxury brands that have decided to scrap their 2021 shows …

Versace and Giorgio Armani have cancelled their upcoming cruise shows amid growing concerns over the coronavirus.

The Italian fashion houses have become the latest additions to a growing list of luxury brands that have decided to scrap their 2021 shows as the epidemic spreads around the globe.

In a statement, officials from Versace, headed by creative director Donatella Versace, announced that they would be postponing their show, which was scheduled for 16 May at an unknown location in the U.S.

The decision follows “restrictive measures relating to international mobility”, a spokesperson for the Milan-based fashion house stated, and added that “Versace is aware of the need to give priority to the health and safety of its guests and employees”.

Three states in the U.S. have declared a state of emergency in response to the growing epidemic, with more than 230 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths reported from across the country.

Armani has also made the decision to postpone its 2021 cruise show in Dubai in April. It was due to coincide with the reopening of its boutique in the Dubai Mall, according to editors at Footwear News.

The Armani store opening will now be held in November, but the cruise show has not yet been rescheduled.

The decision comes hot on the heels of the designer staging his Milan Fashion Week fall/winter 2020 presentation behind closed doors over coronavirus fears.

Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Prada have also sent the fashion calendar into disarray by cancelling their upcoming shows in light of the widespread epidemic, which has infected more than 100,000 people and killed over 3,400 across the globe.

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