(NEW YORK) — Prabal Gurung, a Nepalese-American fashion designer, is speaking out regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak with powerful words that many are (virtually) applauding him for.
On Monday, the company posted a statement on Instagram advising followers that the Prabal Gurung team has been working tirelessly over the course of the last week to finalize an actionable plan to manufacture personal protective equipment for medical workers and first responders who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
“As a brand that produces over 90% of our collections in NY, our goal is not only to fill the void of critical PPE, but to mobilize our domestic partners, revitalizing US producers and suppliers,” the company wrote in a statement.
The statement continued, “We are currently working in partnership with Governor Cuomo’s office and local hospitals to secure clearance to produce, and ensure the viability of our output.”
In addition to Gurung’s team gearing up to create more PPE, the designer posted an earlier post on which he’s taking a stance against coronavirus-related racism.
“Asians around the world have become a target of racism and xenophobia in the wake of the Coronavirus – and hatred and violence are only encouraged when people in positions of power propagate racist messaging, rather than offering solutions,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
He continued, “This virus knows no race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. In order to emerge from this global pandemic stronger than ever, let’s champion hope and compassion.”
Gurung concluded his caption by empowering everyone to unify in supporting the Asian community, and to “be kind, wash your hands, stay inside . . . remember to spread light and love.”
The New York Fashion Week favorite has gained the attention of many, gaining over 14,000 likes with many people cheering on his powerful call to action to stop coronavirus-related racism.
In the photo featured along with the designer’s post, he is seen wearing a black “Phenomenally Asian” T-shirt from Phenomenal Women, an organization that brings awareness to social causes. Their latest launch donates all net proceeds to benefit the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
“From people feeding into racist tropes on Instagram to the leader of this country, President Trump, dubbing this ‘the Chinese virus’ — I am disheartened to see these instances of fear and ignorance winning over compassion,” Gurung said in a post for Vogue.
“So what will we do to make an impact in this life, and what will we leave behind?” he continued. “This is a pivotal moment for introspection. I urge the industry, and everyone, to think about what they want their legacy to be, and how can we help each other get there.”
Gurung goes on to further express how he is finding ways to assure his own company continues to be socially responsible while also brainstorming ways to be considerate of the mental health of those in the industry.
In February, another New York Fashion Week favorite designer, Phillip Lim, also spoke out on racism being faced by Asian communities amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The coronavirus is not a foreign threat, but a human one,” Lim wrote in an Instagram post.
“We will not be a witness to abuse,” he continued. “We will continue to stay vocal and support marginalized communities and businesses, we will be an ally in the face of hostility and abhorrence, and we will be relentless in our fight for humanity.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.