In today’s world full of health challenges and financial uncertainty that many are facing, you might think that the fashion industry gradully came to a stop like so many other companies. But at a closer look, you will notice a different kind of fashion in these uncertain times, more or less surprising. Because many people fear contagion everywhere around, in supermarkets, in parks, in different retail spaces, they do everything they can to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19. At the present time, face masks have inevitably become a fashionable form of artistic self-expression and, for some of us, even luxurious accessories.

Photo by Steve Halama

Airinum and other popular makers of trendy masks, including Cambridge Mask Co. and Vogmask, typically sell products in an assortment of colors and sizes and advanced air filtration and memory foam fitting for the wearer’s nose. Unlike other masks, these can be washed and reused. The products are normally priced at $12 for a basic black Cambridge mask or as much as $69 for a pearl pink Airinum. Airinums have sold for more than $200 apiece on EBay in the last week and Vogmasks for about $150 on average. But there is also a different kind of market: the designer face mask. Fashion designers have adapted to the pandemic by transforming face masks into “must-have” accessories.

Photo by Gustavo Fring

Collina Strada‘s fashion masks are made from deadstock materials from other collections and with the purchase of one mask you will provide 5 masks to healthcare workers in New York City.

Ball and Buck is selling a reusable cotton Camo Face Mask “to represent your sporting values whenever you need to cover up.” They do mention that they are not medical grade masks and should not be used as such. Rather these masks are meant to provide some level of protection for the transmission of water droplets for non-medical personnel as to not take medical grade supplies from doctors on the front lines.

Tallix

Tallix  is the world’s first and only luxury face mask dedicated to elegance, sophistication, and uncompromising quality. Designed with exquisite detailing in Beverly Hills, each Tallix face mask is individually hand sewn with opulent silks and hand-woven trims before being appraised for comfort, protection, and aesthetic perfection.

KES has created protective washable face masks made of 100% Silk Charmeuse in multiple colours and they are donating one face mask to a healthcare professional for every mask purchased and Matruska has some colourful creations made from washable and reusable 100% cotton fabric from their own studio. “Everyone benefits: the brands who are losing money, the healthcare workers, and the civilians who are in need of masks,” said Marie Lodi, a fashion writer and host of Fishnet Flix, a podcast about costume design, in an interview for The Guardian.

To some people, wearing an expensive designer face-mask can come across as inappropriate when so many medical professionals don’t have sufficient protective equipment, but for others, this is a personal choice to bring a little difference (and style) to their everyday lives during this pandemic.

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