A fashion face mask from Samuelsohn.

Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, the Montreal-based owner of the Samuelsohn brand and licensee of Hickey Freeman, has created a new division to produce personal protective equipment for medical professionals and high-end face masks for the general public.

The company started making PPE at the beginning of the pandemic to fulfill the high demand by health care workers in North America. It has now made it an official business by forming a new manufacturing division in Montreal dedicated to PPE, which will create 85 jobs and produce 25,000 gowns a week. The division, called Samuelsohn Medical, has received an order from the Canadian Department of Health for 2 million medical gowns. It has already delivered 200,000 gowns to the Province of Quebec and will add automated surgical mask-making capabilities in the next several weeks.

“We are experts with deep artisanal and technical knowledge in the niche business of high-end custom clothing,” said Stephen Granovsky, chief executive officer of LMAG. “The unexpected, overnight disruption to our business due to the coronavirus pandemic led us to find ways to apply our highly skilled manufacturing knowledge to new business opportunities and mitigate the effects of a volatile global marketplace. The need for domestically produced PPE remains unabated in order to replenish stockpiles and prepare for the coming fall and winter and beyond. We intend to be a leader in this field.”

Alan Abramowicz, president and chief operating officer of LMAG, said the company was able to find a location, hire workers and outfit a facility in four weeks. “Our swift action is providing an important revenue stream while the North American retail landscape slowly rebuilds to pre-crisis levels.”

In addition to the facility in Montreal, the company’s factory in Rochester, N.Y., will devote a floor in the building to the newly created Hickey Freeman Medical division.

The masks, which are for non-medical use, are manufactured from excess 100 percent Egyptian cotton fabric from the company’s shirt collection that was woven in Italy. They are washable and an interior pocket holds a replaceable SMS filter. To take pressure off the ears, the masks are sold with matching fabric extenders that can be placed behind the head. A pack of two retails for $50 and is available for sale on the Samuelsohn web site.