Arielle Tschinkel
Updated Mar 25, 2020 @ 9:05 am

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow, hospitals and healthcare centers around the country are facing a lack of necessary supplies—including protective face masks—to keep workers safe. Fashion designer Christian Siriano and his team are doing their part by designing and donating 1,000 masks to New York City hospitals in need.

Siriano offered up his sewing team’s services to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter on Friday, March 20th.

“I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help,” the Project Runway winner tweeted.

After getting in touch with the governor’s team, Siriano’s team began creating a few versions of the masks in order to get the perfect fit. He told that he hopes the fashion world can help out in this critical time of need.

“I really think that if anybody still has team members who are sewing or who can sew, especially in New York, we could make a few hundred a day,” he said. “There are only so many people who work in a hospital. Fashion could really change everything in a week. Look, we have nothing else to do right now. Nobody is buying clothes so what can we do? I hope that everybody can pitch in.”

And while the gesture is a lovely one for sure, Siriano is also aware of the fact that the masks need to meet certain requirements in order to be effective. Because his team isn’t qualified to make medical-grade masks, he told WWD they’ll instead focus on making them for non-medical employees, such as receptionists and social workers.

“It’s very important before anyone does anything to help, please make sure what you are making is safe and hopefully FDA approved,” he tweeted. “We must be smart.”

Siriano also called upon other fashion designers and brands to do their part and, so far, it seems to be working.

According to The New York Times, Los Angeles Apparel is making surgical masks and hospital gowns, aiming to produce 300,000 masks and 50,000 gowns this week. Swimwear brand Karla Colletto is also working to replicate masks made by 3M, which is a long-established hospital supplier.

Amid the growing crisis, Siriano told the NYT, “We are a tiny company. If a giant company with a lot of manpower were to take a similar initiative, it could change everything. Every manufacturer is at something of a standstill anyway. This gave us something to do and a way to help even a little.”

Props to all the designers coming together to pitch in. These little gestures of support can add up big time, especially at a time when we need all hands on deck to help those in need.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.