- Christian Siriano offered to help sew face masks in the wake of a possible medical supply shortage in the state of New York.
- The designer spoke to BAZAAR.com about why he reached out to offer assistance and how he hopes the fashion industry will step up during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Concerns over medical supply shortages continue to grow as more and more cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are confirmed everyday.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals across the country are experiencing severe shortages of personal protective equipment, including face masks, gowns, and gloves. Christian Siriano wants to be a part of the solution.
Today, the fashion designer offered New York Governor Andrew Cuomo assistance in sewing more face masks. "If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some," Siriano tweeted. "I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help."
On Instagram, Siriano added, "I have sewers and pattern makers ready to help working from home we just need all the information on how to help."
Speaking to BAZAAR.com, the designer explained the decision to reach out. "I am just in a unique scenario where I manufacture everything in New York already, I have a working atelier and everyone's working from home, and my office is a townhouse," Siriano says. "We're just able to make them."
Cuomo quickly responded to his proposal and later confirmed that he was in contact with the designer. "Appreciate his help so much," Cuomo wrote on Twitter. "Who's next? Let's do this together, NY!"
Siriano's staff will work on producing masks for medical personnel, including receptionists, social workers, and medical coders and billers. "We're just working on logistics now; who will get them first, how many we can physically make," he adds. "Hopefully, we can make a thousand in a few days. That's the goal."
The U.S. currently has 13 million N95 respirator face masks in stock, but the federal government estimates that up to a billion masks may be needed within the next six months, according to ABC. Already, hospitals across the country are reportedly experiencing a deficiency in personal protective equipment.
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded President Donald Trump for extra medical supplies, saying that the city would run out of critical medical resources within two to three weeks, per Gothamist. "We alone cannot solve this crisis," de Blasio said during a press conference, according to the outlet. "I need people to hear that not to create fear but to level with people."
Siriano wants to encourage others in the fashion industry to help out during the pandemic in whatever capacity they can, pointing out that fellow designers may also still have their seamstresses on salary while working remotely.
"If everybody can work from home, I think we all could really churn out a lot," he says of producing face masks en masse. "They will not be pretty. They are not fashionable in any way. It's really just a basic white mask that hopefully will help. That's it."
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