Designers Christian Siriano and Dov Charney Making Masks
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a devastating toll on citizens nationwide, the fashion industry is stepping up to help combat the spread of the virus. A fashion designer known for his “fantasy” evening gowns and cocktail dresses is starting to make a starkly different accessory: face masks. Fashion designers are producing personal protective equipment in response to the country’s critical shortage of medical supplies.
Former “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano is among the designers and clothing makers across the U.S. who are pivoting from producing haute couture and other clothing to making personal protective equipment. He is ramping up production amid nationwide shortages of masks and other medical supplies as patients with coronavirus begin to swamp America’s hospital systems. Siriano uploaded a video revealing what the face masks look like — proving that his team is working quickly to produce hundreds per day for medical professionals.
Siriano — who is based in New York City, now facing the largest virus outbreak in the U.S. —tweeted that he would redeploy his sewing staff to produce masks after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded for local businesses to help churn out more surgical masks, gowns and gloves.
In California, American Apparel founder and former CEO Dov Charney’s new company called Los Angeles Apparel has been making face masks for its workers for more than a month. The company is now producing hundreds of thousands of masks per week and is selling 3-packs of washable cotton face masks with straps for $30 online. He also has donated more than 10,000 masks to hospitals in California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Washington. The mask is made of a thick cotton French terry — like a thick sweatshirt but unbrushed.