By Jillian Walinski
The entire world is experiencing a global pandemic that seems to continue to grow. Some people have been lackadaisical about the current situation, while others have been taking major precautions. These major precautions, though, have led to a shortage in supplies for medical professionals who are risking their own lives to care for the health of others during this time. However, many communities seem to be staying strong in their efforts to protect those around them that may be at higher risk. We are noticing more and more individuals stepping up to the plate to assist those in need.
While amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has shifted from one end of the spectrum to another. Creating trendy clothing and accessories has been put on the back burner in order to produce masks and gowns for medical professionals. One designer in particular decided to take on the endeavor of making masks, in response to New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Fashion designer Christian Siriano replied to a tweet from Gov. Cuomo offering help from him
and his team to help fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Siriano and his team of about 10 seamstresses were able to generate 1,000 masks in three days after acquiring materials and creating prototypes. Since then, they have been able to produce several thousand masks per week.
Producing medical face masks isn’t an easy feat, even for professional seamstresses. After creating prototypes for these masks, Siriano enlisted professionals on the safety protocol measures that him and his team would have to undergo in order to produce masks that could be approved under FDA or CDC regulations. Upon entering work each day, every staff member’s temperature is taken. Each seamstress is also required to wear a mask and keep their distance from one another while working. At the end of the work day, the entire studio is cleaned and sterilized, ensuring a safe work space to create medical supplies.
It appears that Christian Siriano is not the only fashion brand bringing something to the table in this time of need. Siriano’s response to Gov. Cuomo has ignited a trend in the fashion industry. The project that Siriano and his team have taken on has inspired other brands and designers to follow in his footsteps, like Brandon Maxwell, Armani, and Prada. The studios and production plants of these large names have become sites for creating medical masks, gowns, and overalls. The tweets from Gov. Cuomo have even struck a cord in artist, Rihanna, who has donated personal protective equipment to hospitals in New York City.
Nobody ever knows what will happen in this crazy world, but having so many people come together to help one another really offers a glimmer of hope for the current circumstances. Self-quarantine is still going strong for many, and it doesn’t appear that the COVID-19 pandemic will calm down any time soon. However, with people like Christian Siriano and his team, we can all try to get through this together and have hope for the future.