‘Project Runway’ Winner Sews Free Masks For Healthcare Workers in Texas
“Project Runway” Season 2 winner and Houston-based fashion designer Chloe Dao has turned her passion for sewing into a cause for healthcare workers in need of masks from the COVID-19 shortage.
Dao closed her 20-year-old Rice Village boutique store last Tuesday, offering shopping by appointment only.
She has not laid off any of her boutique staff, instead putting them to work at a safe social distance and producing 150 to 200 masks, which are available in small, medium and large sizes, a day, according to KPRC Click2Houston.
To date, Dao and her staff have made close to 1,000 masks for Houstonians who have reached out.
“I just want to play my role in this community and help take care of each other,” Dao said in a video posted to Instagram.
Dao is seen showing off the fabric mask, indicating a pocket for extra filtration. She notes that the original design is not meant to stop the coronavirus but with the extra pocket space, filters can be inserted.
Requests have come in from all over the country, with the designer researching a reusable cloth that is the best washable textile.
“It’s really been overwhelming, and I don’t get overwhelmed easily,” Dao said. “But we have had some [sic] many people call who really need the masks. People whose parents have cancer, health workers who can’t get any. This is just a crazy time.”
The support for her efforts have come pouring in.
Dao also posted a video on her Instagram on how to make the masks in detail with step-by-step directions.
As there is an increasing number of demand for masks, people have been resorting to stealing masks from hospitals and medical facilities, putting healthcare workers at extreme risk. One of Dao’s requests comes from a Florida clinic that had masks stolen from their facility.
“It’s sometimes hard to stay positive with so many things going on around us. I honestly believe we will get through this storm together and come out stronger,” Dao wrote in another social media post.
The designer is looking for monetary donations for making the masks as she continues to pay her staff. More information on where to donate can be found here.