The Owners of Dior and Balenciaga Pledge €300 Million for Notre-Dame

Yesterday afternoon reports surfaced that Notre-Dame, the 850-year-old cathedral in Paris, was on fire; by the end of the evening, it had devastated roof and spire, which collapsed. French president Emmanuel Macron, speaking outside the cathedral last night, announced an international fund-raising drive to reconstruct the building in its entirety: “We’ll rebuild this cathedral all together and it’s undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we’ll have for the coming years. That’s what the French expect because it’s what our history deserves,” he said. Some of the first to respond were from Paris fashion’s luxury conglomerates, with François-Henri Pinault of Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent) and Bernard Arnault of LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Céline, Givenchy) pledging a combined sum of €300 million (Pinault pledged €100 million, Arnault €200 million). “The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at this time of national tragedy, and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity,” Arnault said in a statement.