Bellmore fashion designer churns out 1,000 masks in one week for area medical personnel

A Long Island fashion designer is using her talents to help health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kimberly Towers of Runway Couture is sewing hope in the fight against COVID-19. Instead of creating one-of-a-kind ball gowns for red carpet events and weddings, the Bellmore-based designer is using her tools to make face masks.
"I heard horror stories of doctors and nurses and EMTs using paper towels and rubber bands to protect themselves because there wasn't anything in reach," says Towers.
Towers and her staff researched guidelines for making surgical masks, found a supplier for fabric and pre-shrunk the material themselves.
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Runway Couture co-owner Bianca Fuentes designed the prototype. She got the mask as fitted to the face as possible with wire and elastic.
"She was cutting kits all day long, all night long," says Towers. "Because when you hear the cries for help, it makes you just want to do more and more and more."
Runway Couture staff made the masks, all while practicing social distancing. A volunteer dropped of the materials at the homes of each of the 10 seamstresses on the team.
"We're all working separately and remotely and physically apart, but I've never felt closer to this team as I do today," Towers says.
In one week, the staff churned out 1,000 masks, all donated to medical personnel on the frontlines of battling the coronavirus.