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Ukraine crisis: Luxury conglomerates donate to relief efforts

LVMH, the owner of Louis Vuitton and Dior, has pledged €5 million (S$7.5 million) to the crisis while Kering, owner of Gucci, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta said it would be making a “significant donation”.

Ukraine crisis: Luxury conglomerates donate to relief efforts

Employees put wooden shields on the window of a Louis Vuitton boutique in Kyiv on February 24, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Sergei Supinsky)

Global luxury giants are speaking out against the Ukrainian invasion. On Mar 2, Kering, the owners of Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, said that it would be making a “significant donation” to help refugees who have fled the country and are now displaced.

“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.”

Speaking to US publication WWD, Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, said that brands will also be making their own individual donations.

Gucci has donated US$500,000 (S$678,000) to the UNHCR, while Balenciaga has donated an undisclosed sum to the World Food Programme (WFP). Balenciaga has also wiped out its social media channels, dedicating it to the cause. “We stand for peace and donated to WFP to support first humanitarian help for Ukrainian refugees. We will open our platforms in the next days to report and relay the information around the situation in Ukraine. Follow the link in bio to donate now,” read the only post left on the brand’s Instagram page.

Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the owner of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Tiffany and Co, has also taken a stand. On Mar 2, the group shared a statement of support for victims of the war and announced that it would make a “first emergency donation” of €5 million (S$7.5 million) to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help direct and indirect victims of the conflict.

The group is also launching a fundraising campaign in support of the ICRC to facilitate the contributions of employees across the group and its 76 brands. “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,” LVMH said in its statement.

Other brands that have rendered support include British fashion house Burberry. The company said in a statement that it is donating to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, “which is working to provide urgent aid, food, warm clothes and shelter to communities in desperate need”.

Meanwhile, key players across the automotive industry have taken action. Aston Martin and BMW have announced that it will pause exports and sales of cars to Russia. Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will donate 1 million to support those affected by the crisis. "For what matters most: peace," read a post on the brand's Instagram.

Source: CNA/st/ds