The French fashion house had temporarily shifted production across several factories located in France, Italy, and Switzerland. The action is in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman of the Parisian haute-couture label said the company is ready to start manufacturing protective gear for French hospitals as soon as the proposed prototypes are approved.
Chanel, one of the most prestigious luxury fashion houses in the world, released a press announcement on Sunday.
The news state that as the coronavirus sweeps across the country, the company is ready to shift production to protective face masks to help bolster hospital supplies in France.
A few prototypes have been proposed and are being assessed by the relevant bodies. Once the French authorities accept the designs, the company will begin production right away.
“Right now, we are mobilising our workforce to fabricate face masks and protective apparel,” said Chanel’s spokesman in the press announcement.
Chanel’s announcement follows the speech of the French Health Minister, Olivier Veran, who, on Saturday, said the French government had placed an order of over a billion face masks, mostly from China.
However, it seems that the face masks will take time to be manufactured and delivered, at least a couple of months.
“France is using 40 million face masks per week. Doctors, nursing home carers, and even police are facing serious shortages”, said Olivier Veran.
On the other hand, Chanel further announced it has no alternative but to put aver 4,500 employees on temporary unemployment.
At least, until the coronavirus pandemic slows down, so the company can weather the sharp slowdown in fashion activity and global demand.