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Annapolis native Christian Siriano of Project Runway lends support in New York City to combat coronavirus

Annapolis born Christian Siriano is using his talents as a clothing designer and entrepreneur to help sew 1,000 facial masks for healthcare workers in New York trying to deal with the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
Annapolis born Christian Siriano is using his talents as a clothing designer and entrepreneur to help sew 1,000 facial masks for healthcare workers in New York trying to deal with the escalating coronavirus pandemic.(Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Designer Christian Siriano knew he wanted to pitch in to the call for help from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Hearing there was a shortage of materials such as gloves and face masks for medical personnel, he immediately stepped up.

Siriano and his team made 100 face masks for hospital workers after learning of a shortage from Cuomo’s social media.

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"If we need masks my team can make them!" Siriano wrote on Instagram. "I have sewers and pattern makers ready to help working from home we just need all the information on how to help.”

Siriano, an Annapolis native who now lives in New York City, later explained: “The Governor gave us the go ahead and the info.”

The masks, made of a poly fabric, will help hospital workers from receptionists to social workers. The masks are not for doctors, he added.

Siriano said that he could actually make the masks for doctors, but at the time only masks for other employees were requested.

“We plan to make 1,000 or more if we can,” he wrote in a message to The Baltimore Sun. “A few days we will be able to really make a difference.”

On Friday, Cuomo tweeted his appreciation for Siriano’s efforts.

"Appreciate his help so much," Cuomo wrote. "Who's next? Let's do this together, NY!"

Later that day, additional designers took to social media and also pledged to join in the effort and produce masks.

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Siriano, who is known for his connection to “Project Runway” (he currently works as a mentor on the show) and for his ability and willingness to dress women of all shades, sizes and shapes, said he has been doing his best under the current conditions. On Friday, Cuomo ordered all nonessential employees to work from home.

“We are all at home trying to stay inside,” Siriano wrote, adding that his mother still resides in Annapolis, where he grew up. “My mom does yard work to keep her exercise because she is 75 and needs to be home.”

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