A 12-year-old fashion designer from California aims to sew 500 face masks for health care workers fighting coronavirus in the country.
, whose designs
have graced New York Fashion Week — among various other shows — began giving away masks to doctors and nurses in her neighborhood. She then gave her handmade masks to others in New York through relatives who work at hospitals.
Ashlyn makes about 20 masks a day. So far, she has donated at least 150 to hospitals all over the country.
“The masks I make have pockets so you can insert a filter,”
she told AsAm News
. “It also has a wire and a nose grip to be more fitting.”
For every $20 donation, Ashlyn produces two masks for the donor and four for a hospital. They are made mostly out of cotton and are fitted for adults, but she can also customize sizes for children.
She collects most donations from a local Jo-Ann’s employee, including materials such as thread and elastic. For now, what she needs most is “100% woven cotton.”
While Ashlyn is significantly younger than her industry peers, she has been using her talent to help the less fortunate for some time now. The Bay Area resident has worked with the Samaritan House, a family shelter in San Mateo, California which received $4,000 after she donated 20 of her designs and auctioned off a custom gown. She also helped a charity show that campaigned against bullying when she was 9.
“They risk their lives to help others, so I decided to use my sewing skills to help,” she said, referring to health care workers, according to AsAm News.
Ashlyn began designing and creating her own clothes at the age of 6 after joining a sewing camp. Since then, she has made an emerging name for herself — though not without challenges.
“I think my biggest personal obstacle is that I still have to overcome my shyness,”
she told Earnshaw’s
, a magazine for childrenswear, last month. “I like to design and let my drawings and design show how I feel or think. I am not very good at explaining myself or speaking in front of people. Because of that, most people don’t know what I do.”
At age 9, Ashlyn was the youngest Asian American designer to participate in a fashion week event. Recently, she presented her 2021 collection at The Angel Oresanz Foundation Center in New York.
“The futuristic designs of pin2gether by 12-yea- old Ashlyn So, who wowed the crowds with her ingenuity, proved to all that the future of 2 fashion is not just bright, it is ‘BRILLIANT,'”
wrote Fashion Week Online
, a website dedicated to global fashion week events.
Ashlyn’s masks are not meant to replace N95 masks, but do free them up for COVID-19 patients. Head over here