Black fashion designers are refocusing their businesses to address the urgent need for protective equipment and supplies for front line health care workers amid the COVID-19 crisis.
New York-based fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond has established an initiative called “Your Friends in New York.” The effort helps distribute much-needed medical supplies and provides financial assistance to women and minority-owned small creative businesses who are suffering due to the circumstances. The designer posted on Instagram that his fashion label Pyer Moss has converted its headquarters into a center to house mask, gloves and gown donations.
LL Cool J’s daughter, Samaria Leah’s booming denim brand, Shop Samaria Leah, is pivoting to sell face masks. Fifty-percent of the proceeds will go towards the “Make Mask Organization.”
Below, we've highlighted four Black designers who are using their fashion skills to help fight this pandemic.
Samaria’s masks are currently sold out, but all proceeds will go towards “Make Mask Organization”
Celebrity designer Claude Lavie Kameni took to Instagram to discuss her efforts. Her caption read: “After a week of working on these masks, we were able to complete 100s and 100s of them to be distributed to our local hospital. Again this is not a surgical mask but it’s way better then nothing. Shoutout to everyone that’s also giving back to the community. #laviebyck”
Nigerian-born designer Esé Azénabo shared how she’s addressing the supply shortage with her Instagram followers. Her caption read: “Hello, I am Esé Azénabor, our medical professionals are on the front line every min of this virus, and we need your help! We have already made over 1000 masks this week to donate to our local hospitals. It cost us alot of funds and labor to produce the masks, although we love what we are doing, we believe it will be greater if we all banded together and HELP! We will like to produce a lot more masks. Our Goal is 8,000 to 10,000 masks so that we can donate to hospitals locally and nationally especially New York, DC, and Houston. We have been receiving calls and emails from all over the country from Hospitals in need of masks. Our masks are made of 3 layers of 100% breathable cotton, a filter in the middle for better protection, there is also a pocket in each mask so that our medical professionals can insert their hospital grade filters for an even better protection. Each mask has a wire for better hold and shape to the nose for better protection. All masks are washable and reusable. 100% of Your DONATION will go straight to production of the mask which will be DONATED to our hospitals. Please go to our Go Fund Me account, link on bio☝🏼☝🏼to make your donation. Any amount will help. Thank you so much for your donation, and we will not rest until this ends. Thanks and GOD BLESS.”
(Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for The Fashion Institute of Technology)
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