Face masks are not only the new “normal”, but they are also turning into fashion accessories. In addition to opening up business opportunities for domestic sewers, luxury brands have also taken advantage of its growing demand by making expensive face masks. From varied prints to colors and designs, there is now a range of designer masks available to meet his sartorial tastes.
Some designers are also adding face masks to their runway collections. Collina Strada sells printed masks, tied with bows, priced at 100 USD (Rs 7,498). Proenza Schouler, another luxury brand for women, produces masks in silk-viscose satin and nylon-cotton gingham print. In addition, Prabal Gurung sells floral jacquard fabric masks for $ 55 (Rs 4,124).
According to a report by Quartz, many of these luxury fashion companies appear to have made a limited number of masks and are donating some or all of the proceeds from sales to COVID-19 relief efforts or other causes.
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While face masks have started to surface as protective gear, their designer counterparts are more than that – they’re about visual statement as much.
Face coverings from Off-White, a business of Virgil Abloh, director of men’s design at Louis Vuitton, also garnered a lot of attention. A $ 95 (Rs 7,125) off-white mask printed with intersecting diagonal arrows was recently rated as the hottest men’s product of the quarter by fashion search engine Lyst. Off-White, however, has been making anti-pollution masks for some time and is said to have sold them primarily to customers in Asia. Rappers like Travis Scott and Future have been wearing Off-White masks since 2016, Lyst revealed.
Masks are also a growing category in a sneaker and street wear resale market called StockX. Mask sales have tripled, coupled with a price hike, during the coronavirus lockdown, according to StockX senior economist Jesse Einhorn reported Quartz.
Masks produced by Off-White and a streetwear brand called A Bathing Ape are becoming the most popular.
StockX sold around 200 face mask units per month of a particular Off-White mask with diagonal black and white stripes, up from around 80 before the lockdown, Einhorn said. Bape’s WGM Shark Mask is another bestseller, with around 40 sales per month and an average resale price of $ 124 (Rs 9,295) at the time of writing, a significant premium over its retail price of 40 USD (Rs 2,998).