(The mask) has become a fashion tool that you can play with,” Chicago artist Isabelle Gougenheim said in a statement.
The demand for face masks increased exponentially when the coronavirus hit, consequentially there could be a drop in sales and revenue for lipstick companies since there might be a little need for it at the moment.
The inclusion of facemasks into fashion items started years back, who would believe that it would eventually be a compulsory addition to a clothing ensemble on a daily basis? Designers in different parts of the world are now creating facemasks lines, collection, brands, or anything that would make it creative and accepted into the fashion world.
In January 2020, Billie Eilish went all Gucci at the Grammy Awards, from nails to face including the facemask. The branding extended to her bold green manicure and, more strikingly, to the pièce de résistance – a Gucci face mask similar to those that people in China are wearing to protect themselves amid the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he wears masks in public to protect himself and others. In addition to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many in the fashion industry say they are now fashion-compatible.
“My take on masks is that they are like socks and underwear,” Evanston Stitchworks owner Amalia Malos said. “Everybody needs them, and they need to be clean.”
Assembly Creators Market owner Reyes Witt said some of the masks at her boutique are designed by artists from the Chicago area. Fifty percent of the profits go directly to the artists.
“It is keeping people employed,” Witt said. “I can’t impress upon people enough how important it is to buy face masks from small independent (businesses) right now because this is how they’re staying alive.”
Witt said different masks fit different lifestyles: some are more secure, while others are more flexible and weigh less. Everyone should have five to 10 face masks, she said, so they can pick a mask that best matches their activity. For a trip to the grocery store, a more secure mask might make sense, she said. But if someone is just running in and out of somewhere, she suggested they might want a “quick and easy” mask.
For Witt, a mask is an accessory that can make a person feel cute or powerful, and then this mask is no different from a necklace that matches the outfit.
“I think it’s really important that we get comfortable with face masks and that we stop looking clinical with them,” Witt said. “It’s super important that masks don’t look scary… people can still look cool.”