Lifestyle Style Christian Siriano Granted New York State Funding to Make PPE for Nonmedical Public Service Workers The designer was the first to use his manufacturing team to produce PPE when the supplies dwindled low at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring By Kaitlyn Frey Kaitlyn Frey Instagram Twitter Assistant Style & Beauty Editor, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 31, 2020 12:14 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Designer Christian Siriano. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Christian Siriano's getting the government support he needs to continue producing PPE. Early on at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March, Siriano, 34, became the first fashion designer to step up and announce he would be using his manufacturing resources to create protective masks for frontline workers. Now, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to award a total of $6.9 million in incentives to companies to continue making equipment, Siriano's fashion firm was one of the 12 selected. Per Cuomo's announcement, one of Siriano's companies, CJ Designs, is receiving $352,590, according to a report from Women's Wear Daily. The money will be put towards manufacturing more face masks for nonmedical public service employees as the state prepares for a potential second wave of coronavirus in the fall. "Siriano quickly changed the scope of his high fashion Manhattan design and manufacturing studio to provide proper face coverings for two of the larger public employers in the state of New York,” the Cuomo said in a statement obtained by WWD. Christian Siriano on Making Masks for Frontline Worker at the Start of Coronavirus Outbreak “His company has invested $600,000 in this project, which allowed him to maintain his 17-person staff while promoting safety and economic recovery through the adaptation of his normal business. Christian is symbolic of great New Yorkers rising to the challenge and supporting the well-being of the larger New York State community," the governor's statement continued. According to WWD, Siriano's CJ Designs already sent 10,000 customized uniform face masks to Buffalo, N.Y. and 7,000 to the Metro North. After Cuomo's announcement, Siriano thanked the governor for his support. "We made so many masks, helped save lives and you helped save our employees and a small business in New York. So thank you!" the designer wrote on Instagram. Cuomo replied in the comments saying, "Thank you for everything you’ve done for New York!" When the supply of PPE dwindled incredibly low in March as the number of positive coronavirus cases skyrocketed in New York, Siriano volunteered his sewing team to help produce more, which led more designers jumping in to help too. “If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help,” the designer wrote on Twitter. “Thank you. Please follow back and we will DM you,” Cuomo said in response to the Project Runway alum. Later, he added, “Appreciate his help so much. Who’s next? Let’s do this together, NY!” As his team got working, Siriano showed his followers the progress they were making in getting the design and fit just right for the face coverings. "We will be making a few versions of this in order to help as many people as we can. Here is the process so we can get a perfect fit. More to come thank you everyone we hope to get these to the right people ASAP," he said on Twitter. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.