Chanel in France is preparing to launch face masks as the brand joins the fight against coronavirus. The luxury fashion house is currently working on prototypes which will be signed off by the French authorities.
French health minister Olivier Veran said France is currently using 40 million face masks each week and has ordered more than a billion more, mostly from China.
“Today, we are mobilising our partner manufacturers and teams, including close to 150 sewing specialists from the Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Maisons d’Art workshops, to produce protective face masks and gowns,” Chanel president of fashion Bruno Pavlovsky said in a statement. He confirmed that they have “started the approval process with the public authorities” and will “launch production as soon as the prototypes and raw materials have been approved”.
The fashion house also confirmed that it will continue to employ its 8,500 staff in France – maintaining their salaries in full for eight weeks from 16 March – despite challenges that the pandemic has placed on businesses.
The brand is the latest luxury label to lend its support to the coronavirus battle. Burberry is now creating hospital gowns and face masks for the NHS, while Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell are doing the same to help medical staff in the US.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.