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Step up! These fashion designers are standing up to COVID-19

Designers across the world are shifting their businesses from creating regular or luxury clothing to producing masks and gowns desperately needed by healthcare workers at the frontline of COVID-19.

During a full-scale war effort, the onus is on governments to mobilize troops, prepare defensive precautions, and develop methods for domestic businesses to survive. But the citizens of countries play an enormous role themselves in helping the war effort.

During World War 2, women in America kept the country afloat while the men fought overseas. Businesses shifted from producing luxury goods to producing aircraft, tanks, and other necessary products for war.

Now, in March 2020, we find ourselves fighting a new kind of war. A war against an invisible enemy, where soldiers carrying rifles and bayonets are not at the frontline, but healthcare professionals instead. Make no mistake, we are at war, the whole globe together, and that means we must all play our part.


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Protect and Serve. That’s Los Angeles. We would like to thank all of our police officers and first responders who are bravely putting their lives on the line by continuing to protect and serve us during this time. The LAPD, NYPD, hospitals in New York, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles and more have already received donations of our masks. We are also wholesaling our masks to many hospitals, health care providers and other first responders or organizations in need. Every consumer purchase made of the FACEMASK helps fund our ability to donate masks to other essential services while providing living wages to american workers and supporting vertically integrated US manufacturing. Thank you for your support #thatslosangeles #losangelesapparel #thatslosangelesapparel #lapd #facemask #protectandserve #livingwages #madeinusa #cotton

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Masks are of extremely short supply right now, so much so that healthcare workers are given one N95 mask, told to reuse it (the masks are meant to be single-use), and if they run out, encouraged to wear bandanas as a substitute.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our healthcare workers safe, we need a lot of masks produced and distributed NOW. The fashion industry has a part to play in this battle, and the most prestigious designers and smallest dressmakers alike are doing their part.

Founder of Los Angeles Apparel Dov Charney has geared his company up for the manufacturing of surgical masks. Charney, also the former head of American Apparel, hopes his 150,000-square-foot factory can produce 300,000 masks and 50,000 gowns in a week.

Dov Charney in Los Angeles.Credit…via Los Angeles Apparel

Famous American fashion designer Christian Siriano has reassigned his 10 seamstresses in New York to hopefully make a few thousand masks a week.

New York is currently at the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. At its peak, it is estimated the state may need 110,000 hospital beds, and right now according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, we only have 5,000.

Designer Brandon Maxwell also dedicated his designer’s efforts to creating PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

American fashion designer Rachel Comey shared a message on her Instagram of emails for manufacturers to reach out to help with manufacturing needs.


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Pass around….

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The inspiration from some of the nation’s top designers has inspired others to do the same.

The Costume Designers Guild is rallying members to create masks for hospitals.”Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Good Doctor” and “Station 19” are among the TV productions that have donated their masks to local hospitals.

It may seem silly that television shows donating their supplies will make a big difference in the fight against COVID-19, but the ineptitude and lack of preparedness from our national government warrant any measures possible.

Museums and art studios are also doing their part to help healthcare professionals. Painter Tauba Auerbach offered a link to her Instagram followers of an initiative for museums and artists to donate their protective gear.

Dubbed the Mask Crusaders, they operate in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, and operate, but need managers, in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.

These efforts are not central to the U.S. Designers as fashion students are offering assistance all across the world. Ultimately, the biggest silver lining of this incredibly destructive virus is that it has shown us we are #StrongerTogether. We need this unity to continue if we want to get through this.

Fashion designers shut down their operations like many businesses as COVID-19 spread rapidly in the U.S. But designers recognized their ability to play a massive role in the fight that has only just begun.


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Masks, gowns, and other protective equipment are desperately needed right now because if our healthcare workers get sick, there will be no one to care for them or their previous patients. We would be doomed.

Anyone with the capabilities to manufacture PPE for the unified fight against COVID-19 is encouraged to email or fill out this form to see how you can help.