School of Art, Media, and Technology

Parsons Fine Arts and Fashion faculty and students joined forces as the C.L.Ho.W. Team to provide washable gowns, shoe covers and hair covers to the Callen Lorde staff working with Housing Work in running temporary shelter/health clinic for at-risk and sick LGBTQAI homeless adults and teens in New York City during the Covid Pandemic

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While most PPE supplies are going to the major hospitals, community organizations which provide vital services to struggling New Yorkers are facing severe shortages of PPE. (see NYTimes coverage May 6th) In response Lara Comstock, director for nursing at Callen Lord — the Chelsea based LGBTQ healthcare center — was looking for washable gowns and head/shoe covers to address their need longer-term. Andrea Geyer (faculty Parsons Fine Arts) reached out to the Fine Arts alum and current director of  BFA Fashion Design: Systems and Materiality Brendan McCarthy and faculty Isabelle Webster to build a small team to address this urgent need. Edmund Langdell (BFA Fashion), a Peer Health Advocate,  and co-founded and co-leader Gender Venting, a group for transgender students who is currently working on his fashion line Becoming joined the team as the lead designer creating patterns. Fashion for the Front Lines inniated by Parsons’ Chairwoman of the Board of Governors Kay Unger (with Morty Singer) was an additional resource for this project. After the initial planning, a team of dedicated sewers stepped up to make the actual garments in the midst of adjusting to their lives of being remote learners. Thanks to the incredible work of Hanwei Su, Mattie DiGiovanni, Brian Boyages, Deanna Hutchinson, Nina Zhong, Huilin Chen quickly met the initial need of 50 gowns and foot covers and Andrea Geyer coordinated the materials and efforts to have the PPE at work in only two weeks. The team recently grew to include Fashion Alumn  MELITTA BAUMEISTER (@melittabaumeister) and faculty Michal Plata to create additional washable gowns, foot covers for Callen Lord and Housing Work’s heroic work. Our continued gratitude goes to these frontline workers and the team to keep them protected.

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