It was at the start of the pandemic, a few days before American designers like Christian Siriano started sewing masks at home. Ms. Boyer, 36, heard from a midwife friend that a Grenoble hospital was using fabric coverings to preserve her surgical masks.
She enlisted a few Chanel seamstress colleagues, and they began to develop prototypes. On March 18, the day after the Paris foreclosure began, Ms. Boyer purchased the Tissuni domain name.
Since then, the collective has grown to over 100 members, according to Ms. Boyer. Many are high fashion seamstresses; in addition to Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent, they come from Jean Paul Gaultier, Schiaparelli and the Paris Opera.
They made their masks from personal cloth supplies and, when they were exhausted, used old curtains, pillowcases and clothing. They donated the masks to hospital staff, but also to law enforcement and the Parisian “front line”: cashiers, delivery people, taxi drivers.