Countering the shortages of medical equipment, luxury fashion houses swiftly line up to fight the COVID-19 crisis. While LVMH produces hand sanitizers and Italian doctors wear Prada, Louis Vuitton is busy transforming its ready-to-wear atelier to make medical gowns for Parisian hospitals.
Switching from evening gowns, Paris’ rue du Pont Neuf - the French house’s headquarters - will provide protective equipment for healthcare workers in six hospitals of Paris.
The Parisian hospitals belong to “Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris”, also known as AP-HP (the regional hospital center operating in Paris and its surroundings), who are treating patients suffering from COVID-19.
The medical gowns are set to be transported each evening for the six hospitals, namely: Université Paris-Saclay: Hôpital Antoine-Béclère in Clamart – Hôpital Bicêtre in Kremlin-Bicêtre – Hôpital Paul-Brousse in Villejuif - Hôpital Ambroise-Paré in Boulogne-Billancourt - Hôpital Raymond-Poincaré in Garches – Hôpital Sainte-Périne in Paris’ 16th arrondissement.
At the moment, gowns are being manually cut in the atelier. From next week, the atelier will also be assisted by 20 Louis Vuitton volunteers working from home simultaneously to create thousands of gowns in AP-HP approved fabrics.
Starting on 14 April, a Parisian pattern cutter will aid the efforts with an automatic machine. This will allow fabric cutting to be even faster, thus making an increased number of gowns.
During his visit to the atelier, Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO said: "We are proud to be able to help healthcare professionals at our level and put our know-how at the disposal of the Hôpitaux de Paris to create gowns for medical staff. I would like to thank the artisans of our atelier who voluntarily participate in this civic act and who have been bravely applying themselves since this morning to equip healthcare workers in hospitals who are in need of gowns."
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Photos: Jason Lloyd-Evans and supplied