Many fashion houses and clothing brands like Reformation and Prada have reopened their factories and repurposed their studios and production lines to make face masks in an effort to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Armani recently announced that its manufacturing plants in Italy will be producing medical overalls, to help protect frontline healthcare workers. Now, Louis Vuitton is the latest in the industry to join the fight against COVID-19, using its own workshops to produce non-surgical face masks. Gone is the time of high-fashion couture stitched by hand–these ateliers are now factories for protective supplies.
Following the French government’s appeal for raised production of non-surgical masks, Louis Vuitton has begun producing hundreds of thousands of masks, using its French workshops in Marsaz and Saint-Donat, Saint-Pourçain, Ducey, and Sainte-Florence. There, 300 workers resume their operations, but not on a new fashion collection.
Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO, visited the Sainte-Florence workshop and expressed his appreciation for its twenty-two volunteers, who were already making masks. “As an important French House,” he said, “Louis Vuitton wishes to commit at its level to producing many thousands of masks that will be distributed within the region, at no charge, to protect those who are most exposed. This production is the fruit of a wonderful collaboration with the regional sector of the textile industry.”
The non-surgical masks have been approved for civilian use by the different governing bodies. They are made in partnership with Mode Grand Ouest, a regional textile company supplying one of the main materials.