Extra Extra: We Weren’t Expecting Beyoncé to Do This, but We’re Grateful

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Photo: Courtesy of @beyonce

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 giving back to the fashion brands keeping us busy at home.


Beyoncé Shares a Message and a Song

During the pandemic, ABC launched The Disney Family Singalong to give families a chance to bond over something wholesome, while using the opportunity to highlight the non-profit organization Feeding America, which is helping families in need during the crisis. 

As part of the Disney family, Beyoncé contributed to the cause by dropping a surprise rendition of Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon a Star”, which she dedicated to “to all of the healthcare workers who’ve been working tirelessly to keep us healthy and safe”. After her emotional performance, the popstar added, “Please hold on to your families tight. Please be safe. Don’t give up hope. We’re gonna get through this. I promise. God bless you.”


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The 2020 LVMH Prize Is Winner-less

The coveted annual LVMH Prize has historically been an integral part of launching some of fashion’s most creative emerging designers. However, in light of the pandemic, the 2020 edition has been suspended, and its accompanying competition in Paris has been cancelled. Instead, the eight finalists will share the €300,000 (approximately $328,000) prize money equally. LVMH has also pledged to support previous winners of the prize with a new fund, with this injection of cash proving crucial to young brands that are suffering through store closures, supply chain disruptions, and an upcoming global recession.


Fashion Trust Arabia Launches #StandWithCreatives Campaign

Last week, Fashion Trust Arabia launched a new social media initiative called #StandWithCreatives, which urges the creative community in the Middle East to stand together, unified, while spreading awareness and promoting regional businesses. Creatives like Elie Saab, Shanina Shaik, Nancy Ajram, and many others are posting about the cause on their social media platforms using the hashtag #StandWithCreatives, and then tagging other creatives in order to carry the message forward. More than spreading awareness, Fashion Trust Arabia is also establishing a fund for MENA-based designers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Details on the fund are forthcoming.


Ralph Lauren Launches Philanthropic Commitments

In response to the pandemic, fashion brands have continued to step up their aid efforts. Ralph Lauren has launched a series of philanthropic commitments in Europe, which support the set-up of research laboratories, the development of diagnostic tests, and more. Ralph Lauren has also selected a variety of European institutions to receive help, and will additionally donate 130,000 units of products for frontline medical staff and COVID-19 patients.


L'Afshar Launches Initiative to Benefit Doctors Without Borders

Dubai-based brand L’Afshar has announced the creation of a new, limited-edition ‘Sierra Purple’ bag in order to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Brand founder Lilian Afshar thoughtfully designed the bag as an homage to the seventh chakra, which symbolizes strength and spirituality. Proceeds from the ‘Sierra Purple’ bag will be donated to Doctors Without Borders via their Ramadan campaign for International Humanitarian City. Find more details here.

*This campaign is registered in the UAE under permit #2987 by the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department (IACAD). 10 percent of your donation will go to the International Humanitarian City’s emergency preparedness and response work, 4 percent of your donation are subtracted in fees for YallaGive.

L'Afshar Sierra Purple Bag
Photo: Courtesy of L'Afshar

#YallahLetsOrder Campaign Sets Out to Help Local Restaurants

A local takeout campaign entitled #YallahLetsOrder has recently rolled out in order to tackle the crisis of failing restaurants. Taking place every Thursday, it encourages everyone in the UAE to order what they’re craving from a delivery service, and then take a picture of their food and post it to social media with the corresponding hashtag. Unilever Food Solutions Marketing Director Melinda Taylor stated, “It is a challenging and unprecedented time for the entire food service industry. Now, more than ever, we need to work together to pull through. #YallahLetsOrder is a small part that we can all play to help bring in traffic to restaurants and food operators, at a time they need it most.”


Havaianas Helps Combat COVID-19

Alpargatas, the parent company of Brazilian footwear brand Havaianas, has joined efforts to combat COVID-19. The company will produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals, alongside donations to vulnerable communities. Its factories have been converted to meet PPE production needs, and products will be donated throughout Brazilian states. Donations of food, hygiene products, and more will also be made to Brazil’s highest-need areas of  São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Salvador, and Belo Horizonte.

Photo: Courtesy of Havaianas

The SME Rise Collective Launches in Dubai

It’s no surprise that small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) are struggling right now, especially in the arena of marketing and advertising. As The SME Rise Collective points out, “Consumers and companies alike become more cautious with their money with marketing and advertising expenses often being the first to be cut.” The local collective, recently founded by Natasha Hatherall-Shawe of TishTash Marketing and Chloe Ragg of Fox & Hound Digital Communications, seeks to rectify this problem by giving SMEs an opportunity to survive.

The SME Rise Collective platform offers three sections: support, apply, and collaborate. SMEs can apply for aid via an online application. For support, members of the community can sponsor marketing packages for as little as AED 100. Collaborative opportunities are also available for marketing and communication agencies as well as licensed freelancers in the UAE to join the collective and offer their services once marketing packages are signed off. Discover more here.


Bokja Pays It Forward with Artisan-Led Initiative

Unique design retailer Bokja has long combined the talents of artisans, carpenters, and textile designers, and boasts of a team of 35 people from 10 countries such as Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Bokja quickly realized that the artisans whose work relies on physical contact and a physical marketplace are suffering tremendously due to the pandemic, so it came up with a solution.

Tasking its stable of artisans to create silk masks for healthcare workers on the frontlines of Beirut, Bokja has been able to continue employment for its craftspeople by also selling the reversible silk masks to raise funds to financially support nurses and frontline staff from designated medical centers in the region. You can find the unique Bokha masks via Toters.

Bokja silk mask
Photo: Courtesy of Bokja

Muse App Launches New Shopping Solution

Chalhoub Group’s recently unveiled Muse app, which brings special concierge and loyalty program services to users, has launched a new Muse at Your Door shopping solution. From the comfort of your home, you can shop beauty and lifestyle products, clothing and accessories, gifts, and more by the likes of Level Shoes, Tryano, and Faces – and the products will be delivered to your door free of charge. With Ramadan right around the corner, this service couldn’t have come at a better time. Download the app now to start shopping, or call 800 888 777 (UAE) / 22979977 (Kuwait) to speak to a member of the Muse concierge team.


Louvre Abu Dhabi Offers Digital Tours

Louvre Abu Dhabi may have closed its doors to the public since the outbreak of COVID-19, but it is still accessible through a unique virtual experience. Via its app, the museum is now offering audio of its 8,000-square-meter gallery space, available in Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Russian, German, and Hindi. Featuring a global selection of over 600 pieces of art drawn from its growing permanent collection, the audio tours will take you on a mind-expanding journey through ancient civilizations, mythological legends, and more. 


A Special Dior Exhibition Goes Online

If you were unable to experience the incredible Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition when it was at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from July 5, 2017 to January 7, 2018, we have good news. Dior has unveiled the exhibition in an intimate one-hour documentary via YouTube so that those sheltering at home can be transported to an elegant world inside the creative works of the maison. Click play below to start your journey.

Extra Extra: We Weren’t Expecting Beyoncé to Do This, but We’re Grateful

Alabbar Launches 'Helping Hands' Initiative

Alabbar Enterprises has joined forces with suppliers and brands such as Two at Symphony, Karak House, and Angelina amongst others in order to prepare homemade meals for 3,500 people a week in need. Those struggling to make ends meet after seeing their daily wages disappear will benefit from this initiative rightfully entitled Helping Hands. Additionally, Alabbar Enterprises has launched a dedicated website to track the amount of donations and help companies get involved.

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