New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked businesses in New York for assistance by manufacturing more of the medical supplies that will be needed to confront the coronavirus in the weeks ahead. “If you can make them, we will give you the funding to do it,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “I’m asking businesses to get creative.”
Openly gay designer Christian Siriano immediately heeded the call, tweeting at the governor that he has “a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.”
We’re in contact with @CSiriano. Appreciate his help so much.
Let’s do this together, NY! https://t.co/4B43SKguVO
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2020
Gov. Cumo responded, tweeting that he was in contact with Siriano and called upon other businesses to join in the relief efforts.
“Christian has a staff of sewers on salary sitting at home and ready to work,” Bianca Bianconi, a publicist for Siriano, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “They’re starting to make them now, which we will donate and then a plan will be put together as we flesh it out to manufacture them/more.” Siriano’s Instagram stories already show his team at work sewing masks with captions reading, “Guys these will be very simple, it is not for fashion it’s to help people.”
Not long after Siriano’s offer, his Project Runway colleague Brandon Maxwell, who is also an openly gay designer, confirmed his team have started to make medical gowns. “In response to the global crisis, we are now focusing our creative efforts on manufacturing PPE (personal protective equipment), starting with gowns,” he wrote. “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.
Queer style reporting to save the day!