Christian Siriano and his team are hard at work producing the protective masks he promised last week after answering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plea for more masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have made almost 1,000 in the last three days which is amazing," Siriano, a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) designer, said Wednesday on "Good Morning America." "We actually got approved from the governor to work so our studio is somewhat up-and-running."
Siriano jumped into action after Cuomo expressed concern about the severe shortage of masks which protect health care workers from contracting COVID-19.
The U.S. has a stockpile of 13 million N95 respirator masks. But the federal government has said up to a billion might be needed over the next six months.
N95 face masks are personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer from the transmission of airborne particles and liquid contamination.
Siriano tweeted to Cuomo, saying he had a full sewing team on staff who were working from home and willing to help.
Cuomo responded that he was in touch with Siriano.
We're in contact with @CSiriano. Appreciate his help so much.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2020
Let's do this together, NY! https://t.co/4B43SKguVO
"Appreciate his help so much," Cuomo wrote. "Who's next? Let's do this together, NY!"
Siriano told "GMA" that he and his team wanted to contribute.
"It was really a simple thing and I just felt like it was a really important time because I felt like it was so needed -- not just in New York, but everywhere," he said.
Siriano said his studio must meet specific guidelines while making the masks and the fabric must be tested and protected. He added that his team takes safety precautions to protect their own health.
"We take everyone's temperature every morning...it's quite a process, but it's really about testing the actual piece itself," Siriano explained.
Siriano said his masks have been worn by health care staff at New York Presbyterian hospital.
"I think the masks that we are making are actually an upgrade from what they even have. It's washable, bleachable -- that was really important that they could re-wear it," he said.
He added, "Even if we help 100 people, that's more people than nothing."