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On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that he needed the public's help to find ways of getting medical supplies to New York doctors to combat coronavirus. Fashion designer Christian Siriano answered the call saying he would use his robust team to make face masks.
"If we need masks, my team can make them," Siriano posted on his Twitter account hours after the governor's plea. "I have sewers and pattern makers ready to help working from home." Later that same evening, he shared a photo of prototypes.
Over the past five days, Siriano has been sharing the progress with photos of his team hard at work. "Powerful women right here," he captioned one photo of six women making masks. "This is what Fashion is right now for us. Making hundreds of masks a day, and that's what we can do to help. Thank you to my team for this, and thank you to our friends who donated to help!"
The Project Runway winner then revealed to Good Morning America on Wednesday that they were nearing the thousand mask mark. "We have made almost 1,000 in the last three days, which is amazing," he said. "We actually got approved from the governor to work, so our studio is somewhat up-and-running."
Cuomo commented on Siriano's help via Twitter, writing, "Appreciate his help so much. Who's next? Let's do this together, NY!"
The call to action, and Siriano stepping up to the plate, inspired other designers to jump on board to produce their own masks. Brandon Maxwell, who has dressed Margot Robbie and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, joined the efforts.
"In response to this global crisis, we are now focusing our creative efforts on manufacturing PPE (personal protective equipment), starting with gowns," Maxwell wrote on Instagram. "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."
Prada also announced it would make 110,000 masks by April 6 to help healthcare workers in Italy.
Italy and New York City have become the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic leaving many hospitals scrambling for supplies, especially masks, to protect workers from contracting COVID-19. The U.S. reportedly has 12 million N95 respirator masks, but it's estimated up to 3.5 billion will be needed over the next twelve months as the infection spreads.