As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe, many of the fashion world’s top talents are pitching in to help the healthcare workers who are fighting the pandemic on the front lines.
While luxury giant LVMH is producing free hand sanitizer and designers like Donatella Versace have offered up generous donations to hospitals, smaller labels are harnessing the power of their studios and sewing teams to produce desperately needed face masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to help with the shortage.
Below, some of the designers who are stepping up to lend a hand.
On March 18, Kerby Jean-Raymond — whose Pyer Moss label is a favorite of celebs like Gabrielle Union, Issa Rae and Tracee Ellis Ross — announced he would be converting his NYC office into a donation center for masks and gloves, and redistribute them to medical professionals in need.
The designer has also raised $10,000 to purchase PPE for donation, and an additional $100,000 to aid small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo offered funding to businesses able to produce masks on March 20, Christian Siriano quickly answered his call. Since coordinating with Cuomo, Siriano has kept his million-plus Instagram followers updated on the process, offering an up-close look at a prototype and sharing videos and snaps of his team hard at work.
The designer said his studio is now producing hundreds of masks per day.
“In response to this global crisis, we are now focusing our creative efforts on manufacturing PPE (personal protective equipment), starting with gowns,” Lady Gaga favorite Brandon Maxwell shared on March 21. “We have spent the last week researching the appropriate medical textiles to create these gowns and are proud to provide these much needed items to the doctors and nurses on the front lines of this crisis.”
Maxwell added that “as more information becomes available on how to manufacture medical grade masks and gloves, we will transition in to doing so.”
On March 21, Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet volunteered her team’s services to make masks out of excess fabric, and told Page Six Style that they’ll also be producing gowns based on medical specifications for New York hospitals and healthcare workers.
Red carpet favorite Prabal Gurung shared an update with his followers on March 23, writing that his studio will be pivoting to make masks and gowns as well. “As a brand that produces over 90% of our collections in NY, our goal is not only to fill the void of critical PPE, but to mobilize our domestic partners, revitalizing US producers and suppliers,” he wrote.
“We are currently working in partnership with @nygovcuomo office & local hospitals to secure clearance to produce, and ensure the viability of our output.”
Over on the West Coast, Michael Costello — who’s dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé — pledged to “do [his] best to fulfill as much face mask requests [as he] can,” working with a local LA manufacturing agency as well as his own staff.
Fellow LA designer Rachel Comey put out an ask to local manufacturers on March 22, asking them to reach out to government organizations to help supply hospital gowns. The day prior, she posted a tutorial showing how those not in the medical profession can make their own masks at home.
In addition to sharing a face mask pattern with her followers, Cynthia Rowley announced on March 23 that she’s making hundreds for “members of the community” in an effort to “flatten the curve” of infection.