Coronavirus Covid-19 and how we face it. An article by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.
We are facing Coronavirus Covid-19. We are facing it differently perhaps because we all have different faces. And specially in front of this situation when people of whole planet stay still we have real faces. Ever wondered what is the real face of your favorite actor or singer or politician – check them out on social media (twitter, instagram). You’ll be surprised. You might have pleasant surprises, or you might not…..
I live in Paris, a big city… some sort of “Big Apple” or I’d say “Big Prune” (with the meaning “Big Prude”). Everyone wants to visit Paris, having so much wonder, but not everyone wants to live, and some wants to run away and never come back after living couple of years.
I’m not here to talk about ugly human nature during these circumstances. But it needed to be said. I’ll just express my feelings and move on. Two kinds of absolutely ugly human behaviors has been noted during last month in Paris, but both of them could be identified by one word – THEFT. Parisian “Bobo” who are buying groceries for 1000 euros at the time with disregard to other people; and other people who are breaking into hospitals and SOS vans and STEAL masks and isopropyl alcohol solutions. I just put them both in one bag for such disregard to planetarian drama and other people, and simply THEFT. It is not understandable how people can break into hospital and steal from doctors and nurses, who are trying so hard during this difficult time to cure their mothers, sisters and wives. No words here!!!
Parisian, so called “Bobo” ones again show how appallingly ugly they really are, after marching for different social causes and screaming about humanity. For the last 20 years this social class was so praised even by New York Times for everything, including fashion style. “Bobo” fashion style is very well represented by Christian Dior house of today. Overpriced crocks and thongs (or monkey slippers), fake wax long dresses and messenger bags are the favorite outfits. Read more about Christian Dior “Bobo” collections HERE. “Bobo” is a portmanteau word used to describe the socio-economic bourgeois-bohemian group in France, and specifically in Paris. In another words “Bobo” is an expression to describe those who have it all. The term is short for bourgeois and bohemian, two social castes no one ever expected to find mixed up together. “Bobo” takes over where the old Mitterrand-era label “gauche caviar,” or caviar socialist, left off. What is in reality would be “leftover”, the rotten one.
From article in New York Mag, dated 2011 about Parisian Bobo fashion style. Nothing changed since then:
- Shirt (Surface to Air) open wide.
- Jeans are évidemment A.P.C. Mini-purse is by Marc Jacobs.
- Any Wayfarer-esque sunglasses will do, as long as they look like what everybody wears but are not what everybody wears.
- Homemade jewelry. She says she wants to launch her own brand.
- Petit Bateau clothes never get old.
- Vintage industrial Jieldé lamps are one of the most praised flea-market finds.
- Heels. If not designer shoes, then at least Minelli or Jonak.
- St James sweater (iconic Brittany brand, gives a patriotic touch), Veja sneakers (environmental!), and a mini Fjällräven backpack.
- The helmet (Momo Design) looks vintage, but it’s not.
- Freitag messenger bag (today replaced by Christian Dior messenger bag for men and women), looks like made of recycled tarps, but just faked up. Inside there’s an iMac … what else?!
So Parisian “Bobo” left Paris a week later after French President announced that city is shutting down, due to coronavirus emergency, and insisted that everybody should stay at home and do not leave the city. And that was the firs thing they did – they left Paris to Pays de la Loire (western France, where Mitterrand and the his generation had houses). FranceInfo TV with great choc told the story about their “animal behavior”, about how they were “robbing” stores, buying for 1000 euros of groceries…
Recently para-pharmacy in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, one of the Bobo areas of living, caught in the act by offering masks at… 10 euros per unit! And others are selling them for gold on the Internet. To this date nearly 50,000 masks have already been seized in Paris and the surrounding suburbs since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Indeed what is the difference between Parisian “Bobo” and the thefts who are breaking into hospitals to steal the masks – not much really.
But enough of them. I’m here to talk about beautiful people, changes and the ultimate acts of generosity. And I’d like to tell beautiful and touching stories.
Story 1. Prediction
And I’ll start with this one: strangely enough in 2017 writer Jean-Yves Ferri and artist Didier Conrad created the 37th book in the Asterix and Obelix series, “Astérix et la Transitalique”, translated into English as “Asterix and the Chariot Race“. Asterix and Trans-Italic would be definitely better. Who is this mysterious Trans-Italic under name “Coronavirus” who came for the race against gauls (is the name given by the Romans to the territories where the Celtic Gauls, Latin Galli, French Gaulois lived)? A racer, who’ll later switch the identity with Julius Caesar, who’ll accept the prize for winning the race.
Back in 2017 writer used name “Coronavirus” because he found it suitable for the mysterious racer, who was racing for the crown. It was just a normal scientific term for any virus with a crown-like structure. The man sitting next to Coronavirus in his chariot has a scientific name, too. It’s “Bacillus” – a rod-shaped bacteria. Where else writer could find funny Latin names than in medical book of the viruses and bacteria?!
Story 2. Italy
Another story worth telling. Two very sensitive Italian men Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in February showed collections for Menswear and Ready-to-Wear in black and white (no colors, only red roses), dedicated to fine tailoring and craftsmanship, handmade traditions in Italy. Several videos has been released about how fine craftsmanship and art of tailoring transferred from grandmothers and grandfathers to their children. They could never imagine that Italy just 1 month later is going to lose….. They were the first ones who gave several million euros to the researches to Humanitas University in Italy to find cure, or antivirus, or anything to save Italy and whole wonderful generation – keepers of the tradition.
Now when we look at these pieces… these collections look like a the most beautiful tribute to the old generation. So that they can see that the tradition will go on…. before than 10,000 people will be consumed by this horrible Coronavirus in Lombardy – the heart of the textile,. handmade, tailoring knitwear traditions…
“I think that this is a sign that things need to change, and in an instinctive way we felt it,” Stefano said. “I cannot say why our collection was like this. For sure it was not a marketing plan. We just felt that there was a need for simple and true things.”
The Italian designers were the first ones who without any hesitation started to participate financially with donations to the hospitals and researches. Giorgio Armani donated € 2 million to the Italian hospitals in Milan, Rome, Bergamo, Piacenza and Versilia. He has converted all his 4 Italian production sites to produce single-use medical overalls for the individual protection of health-care providers fighting the coronavirus.
Giorgio Armani also gave great support to the press: last Saturday March 20 Giorgio Armani took a full-page ad in more than 60 magazines and newspapers in Italy, he published the message addressed to all healthcare professionals who are fighting for lives in the first line and to all people: “What we are witnessing today, the sudden outburst of unexpected events, represents the new normality which we are all dealing and coming to terms with, and will continue to do so in the future. As occurred in the past, the country is being called on to unite, relying on its many souls, on that courage and energy that distinguishes it,” – Giorgio Armani.
Remo Ruffini, Chairman and CEO of Moncler donated €10 million to build intensive care hospital units in the in the districts of the old Fiera Milan. “Milan is a city that has given us all an extraordinary time. We cannot and must not abandon it. It’s everyone duty to give back to the city what it has given us so far. Apart but together. Tomorrow we’ll start a series of messages sharing warmth to the world by posting a retrospective about time spent together, time reflecting and time spent at home,” – Remo Ruffini.
Long time ago I asked a friend of mine, at that time creative director of fashion house in Paris, Marcel Marongiu – What is luxury? He answered – TIME. Today I can certainly answer myself on this questions – Luxury is the SPACE. Yes, put them together and make the CONTINUUM !!!!! It is 4 dimensional! THAT IS THE LUXURY…. I’m in Paris, and the many of other people in their cities feel the same…. We are shut down. We can only walk for the certain distance. And that is the luxury. Luxury is also the time spent with your loved ones…. Take your 4 dimensional feeling in the “hand” and feel how galaxies squeezing down to you and your family and the atoms, feel this great union of life… something to think about….
Probably this is the feeling many people have. Probably this is one of the feelings of God…. or when we pray to God. Little smile for the occasion: many priests today are trying to keep their perish united and do live mass. The priest Don Paolo of Polla, province of Salerno, went live on facebook and accidentally activated an infinity “filter”. The video started and he was filmed with funny “additions”. A joke of technologies… These short videos made tear many smiles…
Story 3. France
François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Group Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen) donated € 2 million in support of two crowdfunding campaigns to fight the covid-19 pandemic: raising funds to alieve this crisis, by helping health services with equipment and powering the scientists who are working on vaccines and treatments. In Paris, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent, both part of the Kering luxury fashion group, are planning to manufacture masks. Kering has also made a financial donation to the French Pasteur Institute.
L’Oréal not only donated € 1 million, but associations supported throughout the year by the L’Oréal Foundation will also be offered hygiene kits (shower gel and shampoo) and hydro-alcoholic gel intended for social workers, volunteers and beneficiaries. L’Oréal factories which had started the manufacture of hydro-alcoholic gel last week, will intensify their production in significant quantities in the coming weeks in order to support the needs of the French and European health authorities. L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon explains: “In this exceptional crisis situation, it is our responsibility to contribute in every way possible to the collective effort. Through these actions, L’Oréal wishes to express its recognition, support and solidarity with all those who mobilize with extraordinary courage and abnegation to fight against this pandemic. ”
La Roche-Posay brand will equip all of its hospitals, nursing homes and main partner pharmacies in Europe with hydro-alcoholic gel. In addition, it is already providing free bottles to French pharmacies able to produce hydro-alcoholic gel in their own pharmacies.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, at the latest, distributed to all media press release where he announced that he donated FREE OF CHARGE (that is the most visible and important line, repeated several times in press-release) millions of masks produced in China to the hospitals in France. “LVMH has succeeded, thanks to the efficiency of its global network, in finding a Chinese industrial supplier capable of delivering ten million masks to France in the coming days (seven million surgical masks and three million FFP2 masks)”, indicates LVMH in a press release. Bernard Arnault also announced that he ordered to his perfume production lines to manufacture surgical hand gel, which he is “donating FREE OF CHARGE to the French Nation”. Who’d have imagined… it is so rare to see a donation FREE OF CHARGE… but here we are. And I can only assume a donation Bernard Arnault is charging great deal for….
Apart from LVMH who’s massively distributed the communication about donation “free of charge”, many players of fashion participated in production of the masks (surgical or not, protective or not). Anything what could help people to survive. Thousands home made videos published on internet, showing how to sew a protective face mask at home.
Kelly Davoust, Director of the Saint-James knitwear design office, of known since 1889 for knitwear for marines, producer of special line for boutique of Elysee, announced that Saint James started to produce 20 000 masks . These are not the masks, which could protect against the virus, but the masks destined for the infected by coronavirus people, to prevent propagation of coronavirus. Kelly Davoust massively distributed the communication with the photo of herself in the mask about the initiative of Saint James to the local media and TV channels. She also said that these masks will be proposed to the hospitals. You can follow this famous knitwear brand HERE.
On the other note MODE GRAND OUEST network, Textile Industrials, HABILLEMENT – MAROQUINERIE, have called on their volunteer employees to start the manufacture of anti-drop hygiene masks with strict sanitary conditions in each workshop. These masks, as we may call it “professional” – filtration performance 85.7%.
Those who want to make masks to protect the population can use the new AFNOR specifications – a special patent with support of Strategic Committee of the Fashion and Luxury Sector. AFNOR provides everyone with a mask manufacturing standard, known as “barrier masks”. Designed for mask manufacturers and individuals, it makes it possible to design a mask intended to equip the entire healthy population. In another words any fashion brand, who’d like to support France and produce the masks, should use this patent, as these masks are protecting against the infection.
LET’S BE PROFESSIONAL AND SUPPORTIVE – DOWNLOAD SPECIFICATIONS HERE.
Federation of Haute Couture and the mode in Paris yesterday announced that Menswear and Haute Couture fashion weeks are CANCELLED due to coronavirus circumstances, and all designers, fashion manufacturers are called to give the support to the hospitals and population.
Story 4. Beautiful deeds
There are many beautiful deeds in every country worth telling. I’ll tell some, the ones which were not at all announced in the media. These wonderful deeds were not at all announced simply because the persons or people who did them were doing them not for the publicity.
And I’d like to start with Brigitte Macron. Not too many people know that First Lady and the Hôpital de Paris-Hôpitaux de France Foundation delivered thousands of meals to hospitals and nursing homes. This Foundation, leading by Brigitte Macron, also delivered groceries and 10 000 tablets for people in the hospitals under stress due to the epidemic. “Brigitte Macron, who stays at the Elysée Palace without traveling, is now exclusively dedicated to the foundation and this inventory of needs,” said her entourage to Agence France Press.
French group supermarkets Carrefour (Monoprix) gave €3 million for essential kits for hospital and medical staff to pick up in stores at any time of the day. These kits will consist of 1kg of rice, 1kg of pasta, 12 eggs, 1 pack of water, 1 pack of milk, 1kg of sugar, 1kg of flour, a packet of toilet paper and a baguette.
The International hotel group Accor has decided to mobilize around 40 of its hotels to accommodate homeless and medical staff of hospitals and nursing homes. In total, between 1,000 and 2,000 beds in all France are made available.
Group Total in consultation with the country’s health authorities, the French oil giant will make available to hospital establishments fuel vouchers that can be used in all Total stations in France, for an amount of up to €50 million. This donation is given to doctors, hospital practitioners, nurses, midwives, and even paramedics from the public and private sectors. In addition, the Total foundation donated € 5 million to Institut Pasteur, hospital associations and health associations involved in the research to find a cure against this virus.
Apple donated 10 million N95 masks to the United States hospitals, and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. “We’re donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you,” – said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. Following this initiative even Facebook offered gloves and masks to healthcare professionals.
In recent days, support actions for nursing staff have been increasing. There are those who applaud them at the window, There are these who are drawing supporting posters in the cities, there are those restaurant professionals who donate their food stocks. 1000 pizzas has been delivered to Dijon hospital’s staff from.
Another restaurant professional Simone Zanoni, Italian chef at George V hotel restaurant in Paris, decided to cook for the children of the health professionals in Versailles. Originally from Lombardy, the cook decided to relieve them of cooking when they are coming home for short break. Together with his wife Greta, Zanoni promises to deliver meals twice a week until the confinement ends.
There are many beautiful stories to unfold….
Eleonora de Gray, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE