From the Middle East to Europe, fashion houses join the fight against COVID-19

Valentino is one of the many fashion labels dedicated to the fight against COVID-19. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 March 2020

From the Middle East to Europe, fashion houses join the fight against COVID-19

DUBAI: Since the outbreak of coronavirus at the end of 2019, international and regional companies, including Prada, Gucci and Sarah’s Bag, have all joined the fight against the infectious disease.

Ana Khouri

The Brazilian-Lebanese jeweler decided to create a sapphire version of her signature Mirian ring and donate 100% of the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. The ring sold to an anonymous buyer for $7,074 after only a few days on Khouri’s website.

Sarah’s Bag

Lebanese designer Sarah Beydoun will be donating a food box via the Lebanese Food Bank for every bag purchased through her label Sarah’s Bag.


LA-based Tunisian eyewear designer Ahlem Manai Platt has pledged to donate 25% of every pair of Ahlem sunglasses purchased to No Kid Hungry, an American non-profit organization working to fight child hunger and poverty in the United States.


PrettyLittleThing CEO, Umar Kamani revealed in an Instagram Live that he would be donating his March salary to a number of small businesses who were struggling throughout the COVID-19 crisis.


The British heritage brand has committed to funding research for a single-dose vaccine, currently underway at the University of Oxford. “The university has one of the world’s best track records in emergency vaccine development, and its COVID-19 vaccine is on course to begin human trials next month,” reads a post on the house’s Instagram page.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has pledged $10 million across several different aid initiatives.

Hugo Boss

The brand announced they are producing 180,000 non-clinical masks at their production site in Metzingen, Germany.


The Italian luxury label started producing 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks in its Montone factory, which will be allocated to healthcare personnel, following a request from the Tuscany Region.


Gucci has donated $1.8 million to be split between the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Italian Civil Protection Department, while the label’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, has also personally donated over $105,000 to some of the worst-affected hospitals in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.


The Italian label announced that its non-profit arm, the Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti Foundation, will donate $1.1 million to benefit the new Columbus Covid 2 Hospital, a new area dedicated to COVID-19 cases at Rome's Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic.

Giorgio Armani

After pledging to donate $1.4 million to Italy’s Civil Protection and a range of Italian hospitals and institutions in the country, The Armani Group has also converted all its four Italian production sites to produce single-use medical overalls for the individual protection of health-care providers fighting the coronavirus.


The Spanish retailer will donate two million face masks within the next few days to help the medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using its own logistics system, Mango will distribute the two million face masks among various Spanish hospitals, many of which are experiencing shortages of essential medical supplies in order to carry out assisting infected patients.




Hand in Hand with Italy. In these uncertain times, Bvlgari feel compelled to act, and to take real steps towards aiding our fellow citizens. To help face the crisis of COVID-19, we have now transformed Bvlgari Fragrance production into a stream of free hand sanitizers for Italian public services. As proud Italians, we hold this responsibility to our country close to our hearts. We will continue to create and donate these vital supplies as long as it takes to keep people safe, in partnership with our trusted partner, ICR, and with the remarkable dedication of our manufacturing teams. Together, we will overcome. . . . #BvlgariSupportsItaly #iorestoacasa #fightcovid19 #SafeHands #LVMHjoinsForces

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Bvlgari announced that it will manufacture thousands of hand sanitizers to be distributed to medical facilities throughout Italy. The hand gels will be created in 75ml recyclable bottles with plans to produce more in the upcoming months.

Christian Siriano

After New York governer Andrew Cuomo revealed that the city is facing a surgical mask shortage, designer Christian Siriano offered his team's help to produce supplies. "If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some," he tweeted, tagging New York governor Andrew Cuomo. "I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help."

H&M Group

Stockholm-based H&M Group announced that it is are arranging for its supply chain to start producing protective equipment to be provided to hospitals and health care workers to help tackle the spread of the infectious disease. The group will use its supply chain capacity in order to start delivering supplies to affected countries and communities around the world.

LVMH Group

In addition to using its French cosmetics factories to manufacture hand sanitizers for French hospital workers, the luxury conglomerate has ordered 40 million health masks from a Chinese supplier to help France cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, Kathryn Jones learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 May 2020

UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

DUBAI: Skincare products can quite often sit on shelfs or in delivery vehicles for weeks and months, stored in unsuitable conditions.

And despite brands promoting them as organic and natural, some customers might question the effectiveness of products left lying around for long periods after being produced.

However, Kathryn Jones, founder of the UAE-based brand Kathryn Jones Hand Blended Serums, or KJ Serums for short, told Arab News how her company created fresh products every month for customers.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.” (Supplied)

“The concept of a freshly-made skincare serum is something quite different and our customers have really embraced it. They appreciate it’s a fresh product that must be used up within a month when it’s at its most active and effective and repurchased – almost like a food stuff,” she said.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.”

She added: “I simply could not afford the prices of some of the top skincare brands but still wanted excellent results.”

With her background in the biopharmaceuticals industry, she started experimenting and developing her own formulas. “The core proposition is ‘hand blended’ because that’s how it all started, by hand blending and perfecting the serum formulas myself here in the UAE,” she said.

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, the entrepreneur learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region.

“Our climate here is extreme often for eight months or more of the year, especially in the Gulf region. A lot our customers will ask for a product that reduces oiliness and sheen on the skin and are reluctant to purchase products that contain a lot of oils, or are very heavily moisturizing,” Jones added.

The businesswoman believes the Middle East market is “wonderfully diverse” with different attitudes and expectations toward skincare products.

“Of course, this is a challenge to develop effective products which can address many different skin types and issues, but the market is truly receptive to new concepts,” she said.

Jones pointed out that with the current lockdown situation due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), people had more time to care for their skin.

“The coronavirus pandemic has obviously confined us to our homes, and, given the steady increase in the number of enquiries we are receiving, it suggests consumers currently have more time to consider their online skincare purchases and perhaps have more time to invest in an effective routine,” she said.

On whether the COVID-19 outbreak would change the future of the skincare industry, Jones added: “I think that many consumers, either through necessity or out of a desire to support local brands might have chosen to source their products from different manufacturers and therefore brand loyalties may have been affected to a certain extent.”