Thursday, September 21, 2023

Luxury Fashion Houses Take a Stand for Ukraine


Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Gucci are among a growing number of luxury labels showing support for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

As fashion weeks across Europe get underway, luxury labels are stepping up en masse to support the people of Ukraine with donations and campaigns to foster humanitarian efforts across the region.

The support efforts come after Vogue Ukraine urged the fashion industry to embargo Russia amid its ongoing attacks in Ukraine.

“In the wake of unprecedented military aggression from the Russian Federation and growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Vogue UA urges all international fashion and luxury conglomerates and companies to cease any collaborations on the aggressor’s market effective immediately,” the publication wrote on Instagram.

“These measures should apply to the brands and other entities that produce and also distribute and sell fashion goods, accessories, fine jewelry and watches, luxury lifestyle products in the Russian market. Showing your conscience and choosing humanity over monetary benefits is the only reasonable stand one can take in confronting the violent behavior of Russia. Moreover, Vogue UA appeals to the global fashion industry to not keep silence during these dark times as it has the strongest voice. Vogue UA encourages its partners and colleagues to join this call for action.”

Danish label Ganni and Hungarian brand Nanushka have both stopped sales to Russia.

Ganni is “aligning with international sanctions and freezing all trade with Russia,” its creative director, Ditte Reffstrup, told the Guardian.

“We have respect for the Russian people and our partners,” said Nanushka’s CEO, Peter Baldaszti. “We know this is not their decision, but it is impossible to do business with Russia based on our moral values.”

Pairs Fashion Week for Ukraine

Paris Fashion Week, which runs through next Tuesday, has called for “solemnity” at this week’s shows.

“Given the present context, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode encourages you to experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours,” its president, Ralph Toledano, on Monday.

British luxury fashion house Burberry is the latest in a string of announcements showing financial support for Ukraine and refugees fleeing the country under siege by Russia. Burberry says it is donating to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. It’s also matching employee donations to charities working on supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. “These are incredibly difficult times for many people and our thoughts are with all those impacted by the crisis,” Burberry said in a statement.

Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH said this week that it was making “a first emergency donation” of €5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross. It says it’s also launching a fundraising campaign in support of the ICRC to facilitate employee contributions.

“The LVMH Group is closely monitoring the tragic situation in Ukraine and stands alongside all those severely affected by this war. The group’s first concern is the safety of its 150 employees in Ukraine and is providing them with essential financial and operational assistance,” it said in a statement.

Gucci and Balenciaga parent company Kering says it’s making a “significant donation” to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“In order to contribute to humanitarian efforts to bring aid and support to Ukrainian refugees, Kering will make a significant donation to the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugees Agency,” the company announced on Instagram. “We hope for a peaceful resolution of this conflict.”

Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault told WWD at the Courrèges fashion show in Paris on Wednesday that the most important thing, “by far,” is the humanitarian situation of the refugees.

“So I’ve been talking with all CEOs, and we decided to make a significant donation to help the refugees as much as we can — at group level, but at the brand level also. So brands will also contribute. For us, the priority is there,” he said.

Gucci’s Chime for Change, its longstanding global campaign advocating gender equality, said it would make a $500,000 donation to the UNHCR. Valentino also made a €500,000 donation to UNHCR.

Balenciaga is the first label that said it would use its Paris Fashion Week show to support Ukraine.

“We stand for peace and donated to [World Food Programme] to support first humanitarian help for Ukrainian refugees,” it announced on its Instagram. “We will open our platforms in the next days to report and relay the information around the situation in Ukraine.”

Other luxury labels showing support for the Ukrainian crisis include Armani, Camera della Moda, and Jil Sander parent company OTB.

To support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, go here.


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