The world is a scary place right now. As news of the coronavirus pandemic continues to crash through your screens all day long, we know it can be a lot to keep up with. In this special edition of Extra Extra, we’re dedicating the fashion, beauty, and pop culture news exclusively to updates regarding COVID-19, from the public figures it’s impacting to the fashion industry’s efforts to help during this time of crisis and more.
Fans of Baby Archie Raise Funds
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is approaching his first birthday on May 6, 2020. In celebration of the day, devotees of the royal nuclear family have launched #ArchieDay, a hashtag started by the @_archieday_ fan account on Instagram to raise funds for vulnerable children affected by the pandemic. In a matter of days, the account had raised over $30,000, with funds being distributed amongst non-profit organizations such as Children’s Aid, Nourish, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
Fashion Brands Play a Role in Relief Efforts
When the French government put out a call for more non-surgical masks, Louis Vuitton answered. Although many of its factories had been shut down due to the pandemic, the label has now stationed 400 people at 12 manufacturing sites to produce masks for frontline healthcare workers – they are currently on track to produce 100,000 a week. Meanwhile, Jimmy Choo has pledged to donate $500,000 to support relief efforts both in its home country (the UK) and globally, and Tiffany & Co. had committed $1 million towards the cause.
Manolo Blahnik has tackled the crisis with a different angle, supporting a mental health initiative in partnership with Mental Health Foundation. Blahnik’s original shoe sketches can now be downloaded in PDF form and printed, allowing users to color in the sketches for a bit of art therapy. Studies have shown that coloring can have soothing effects on the mind. You can share your creations on Instagram using the #ManoloBlahnikSmiles hashtag.
Celebrities Step Up, Too
Celebrities have also increased their contributions of PPE (personal protective equipment) and monetary donations as COVID-19 continues to spread. Sandra Bullock recently donated 6,000 N95 masks to healthcare workers in LA, while rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill donated 100,000 surgical masks to prisons through their organization Reform Alliance, which aims to reform the criminal justice system. Popstar Halsey has also donated 100,000 masks, hers going to hospitals in California.
Celebrity chef Rachael Ray donated a staggering $4 million spread among various non-profit organizations to aid pandemic relief, stating, “John and I don’t have human children. We want to pay it forward to the next generation.” George and Amal Clooney have also divided $1 million between six different charity organizations, including the Lebanese Food Bank. Meanwhile, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Selena Gomez’s new album will be donated to the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund.
More Public Figures Test Positive
The COVID-19 test results are still rolling in. R&B sensation Babyface revealed that he and his entire family have tested positive for the virus, as has the star of Netflix’s documentary series Tiger King, Joe Exotic – although the latter remains contested. Others who had been diagnosed with the virus have met tragic ends, including Fountains of Wayne singer Adam Schlesinger, beloved country musician John Prine, longtime GCC resident and Dubai presenter Richard Coram, actor Jay Benedict, and Lee Fierro of Jaws fame.
The Show Does Go On
This is the weekend that Coachella would have kicked off, but the universe had other plans. With nearly all high-profile events cancelled amidst concerns of COVID-19 spreading further, some performers are innovating ways to bring entertainment to you in the safety of your home. Famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and organist Emanuele Vianelli are preparing to celebrate Easter at the Duomo di Milano in front of a YouTube audience, which you can watch tonight at 9 p.m. (GST).
Lady Gaga has also been busy. Not only has she raised $35 million for the World Health Organization, but she has also organized a global televised concert called One World: Together at Home. Set to air on April 18, it will feature performances by Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Elton John and, of course, Lady Gaga herself. The concert will be hosted by late-night TV hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert.
Ellen DeGeneres Faces Backlash
A recent tweet by @mollylambert sent us into fits of giggles. It read, “Without handlers, every celeb has revealed themselves to be a Jenna Maroney” – a.k.a. the cringe-worthy diva character on 30 Rock. Ellen DeGeneres was among the first to show her ‘Jenna Maroney side’ and stoked the outrage of the public by comparing life in quarantine – in a palatial mansion, no less – to being in jail in a video posted on her YouTube channel.
While her intention was not to offend, many were quick to point out just how dire the reality is for those in prison, unable to practice social distancing and even access essentials like soap and water as the virus continues to spread like wildfire. DeGeneres has yet to address the backlash, quietly removing that segment from the video instead. However, the internet moved much faster and you can catch up with her ill-timed joke by watching the clip, below.
Local Businesses Donate Free Meals to Frontline Workers
McGettigan’s has been quiet since the pandemic – until now. Taking part in the national Together We Are Good campaign, the Irish pub and Bonnington Hotel have partnered up to donate hundreds of free meals to frontline workers across the UAE for a period of six weeks.
Dennis McGettigan, CEO of McGettigan’s, said, “We have really seen the people of the UAE come together in a true time of crisis and it is only right that McGettigan’s shows support in the best way we can. The Together We Are Good campaign is fantastic and we chose to get these free meals to healthcare workers to say thanks for all they have done and will continue to do in the coming weeks.”