Some Plus Size Designers that are doing their part to help flatten the curve by putting their skills to work and making masks
As this COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the U.S., people are taking every precaution possible to stay healthy. We have a huge shortage of supplies since the outbreak has begun. People are learning to make their own hand sanitizers. Some of our designers have rolled out their fabrics and began making masks to fill some needs. Not for the sake of following a “new fashion trend”, but they are donating them to their neighbors and health care facilities. Some are using the funds to donate to people who have lost their jobs, and some are using their profits to buy more supplies and make more.
We all have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other.
Note: We are aware of the great debate about whether or not the mask actually helps. That is not the basis of this article. It is about shedding some light on the designers who are helping individuals feel safe.
Below are just a handful of designers that I was able to catch up with. There are many more and we would love to hear from you.
Jasmine Swartz, CEO of Honeysuckle Atelier
Jasmine is a designer who specializes in dresses, lingerie and Bridal gowns.
Jasmine chose to donate and sell masks once she saw N95 masks were becoming scarce and NYC was calling on people who knew how to sew to help make cloth masks. It was a true "Rosie the Riveter" moment: she knew her skillset and knowledge of fabrics were critically needed, more so than to continue making clothing for her personal brand. Jasmine already knew which fabrics to use for a "filtration" layer and where to get it in order to make them very cost-effective so that she could get it to as many people as she could.
To date, Jasmine has donated about 75 cloth masks. Focusing on smaller facilities in the area (NY/PA/NJ) that are being overlooked; nursing homes, rehab facilities, smaller hospitals and doctors’ offices, and some individuals who expressed lacking financials but were desperate to protect themselves.
She is also selling masks with the filtration layer; so it’s a buy one donate one type of deal. The mask consists of 3 layers: a decorative top layer, an antimicrobial bamboo fleece with silver ions that acts as a filtration layer, and a soft mesh fabric for the lining. The top and bottom are set with elastic so it contours around the face better than a DIY cloth mask. These masks are also washable and reusable.
To purchase one of these 3-layer masks, as well as to inquire about donated masks you can directly email Jasmine at email@example.com or message her on Facebook (Jasmine Swartz). They are 1 for $16 (includes shipping) and then $10 for each additional in the same order.
Candice Christian, Central Florida, owner and CEO of Candi Crowns
Candice Christian, current Ms. US Legacy Curvy Plus Florida, And Director of Bold Brand Management, typically don’t design garments. Sewing for Candice is just a hobby, although, has done some design work here and there. Candice has decided to step up to the plate in this unique time of need.
Candice has a 2-year-old son. She made a face mask for herself and her son to protect them. But, Candice began to also notice a shortage of PPE when multiple local Quick Cares began to close in her area. Many of Candice’s close friends and family work in the healthcare field. When she posted a photo of her in her face mask, she received an overwhelming amount of healthcare professionals stating their concern for lack of PPE. Candice decided that for every mask purchased, she would donate one to a healthcare worker. The number of healthcare workers trumped the number of sales. She then realized she just needed to begin donating regardless. She has had some amazing people to help with donations and materials, including Renee Cafaro @foxyroxyfashion, and more!
Candice has made about 50 masks since Monday 3/23/2020. She will have another 150 completed by the end of the week that will be mailed out Monday 3/30/2020 for donation. Masks will be going to Assisted living facilities in Central Florida, and multiple hospitals and individual workers in both Florida and New York which is Candice’s home state.
Candice made the selfless decision to stop selling her masks as the number of healthcare workers who need them is exponential. If you have any materials to donate for masks for healthcare workers please reach out to her directly via Instagram @candi_m_and_ms .
Egypt is a young entrepreneur who founded the Bully Chasers charity and started her own plus-size fashion line, Chubiiline, after being bullied in school.
She began by making masks for her mom (Dr. Reba Perry Ufele) who recently traveled to Atlanta. She wanted her mom to be safe on the plane so she rolled out her mom’s favorite print (leopard print) and made a couple for her.
She then started making masks for her friends and neighbors. She has made and delivered well over 100 masks to hospitals and senior centers in her area.
For those that don’t know Egypt, let me also tell you that she is only 14 years old. So between making masks, being a young designer and still keeping up with her schooling, her grandmother wanted to make sure she was able to keep up with the demands. So she joined in to help out. Between the two of them, they are making masks and donating the profits from their sales to families in their community to buy food and other essential supplies.
Regular masks are $5 and Bra masks are $10.
Steffany is a very well known Fashion and Wardrobe Stylist from Brooklyn, New York. She is also a designer who specializes in Custom Made Kimonos, Maxi skirts, and Maxi Dresses.
After seeing the Twitter post by New York Gov. Cuomo about needing masks for hospitals and medical staff, naturally, Steffany wanted to put her skills to use and help. Unfortunately, the materials that she had access to were not suitable for medical use. Therefore she surrounded her focus on making cloth ones for family and friends who have made personal requests for them.
Darryl Peoples is a fashion designer that specializes in High fashion, formal, and casual wear for Men, Women, and kids. He is based in Birmingham, AL.
Darryl says that he was blessed with a talent, and has been blessed to always receive support from others. He chose to make and donate masks because he felt that this was the perfect time for him to be a blessing to someone else. He wants to give back to the community as a way of saying thank you.
Darryl set out to donate 100 face masks. Not only did he meet his goal in a short period of time, but he exceeded it and is still creating. He has donated masks all over Birmingham, AL. He is also donating to people in Florida, Atlanta, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Recipients of his donations have included everyday individuals, as well as medical professionals.
L'BOYCE BRAND BRIDAL & BEYOND is a High fashion brand specializing in Bridal and Formalwear based in Hinesville, GA 31313
LaQuoshia (one half of the 'BOYCE BRAND) uses her passion for being a creator as therapy for herself. It allows her to think and create the impossible. Just as many designers, she saw a need to help flatten the curve when it came to the supply of masks. So she went to work.
She has made masks and donated them to nursing homes, family and friends in the city she resides in (Hinesville, GA) and in her hometown (Jesup, GA). She has also made and donated masks to her minority Chamber of commerce members.
The L'BOYCE BRAND is selling their masks 5 for $20 and is using the profits to buy supplies. They are also taking donations in the forms of money and/or products (elastic, cotton fabric, gauze...etc)
Model turned designer, Juul Jones is a high-end fashion designer located in Baltimore, Maryland
Just as other designers, Rhonda saw a need and jumped in to help. She begin pulling out her fabrics without a second thought and did what she does best.
Using the hashtag #designerchallenge she challenges her fellow designer colleagues to whip out their scrap fabrics and start making some masks in order to make a difference. For designers that need assistance, Rhonda says she has patterns that she can offer to help.
Rhonda's goal is to make 100 masks to donate to her local hospitals and health care facilities. But she has no plans to stop there (at 100)
Rhonda (Juul Couture) can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org