Who said a pandemic had to be tacky? Fashion face masks are exactly what you think they are — face masks that are created with a little more effort spent on the aesthetics aspect of design than what goes into the standard medical face masks.
In the time of coronavirus, many odd sights have become commonplace; store lines with people spread six feet apart, grocery stores with bare shelves, and now fashionable face masks. If you have to protect yourself from a virus, you might as well give ‘em the ‘old razzle-dazzle while you do.
Many fashion brands have answered the call for more masks with their own twist on pandemic style, from Fashion Nova to Khloe Kardashian’s brand, Good American. In a time when a shortage of medical-grade face masks is putting healthcare workers at risk due to the sudden influx of demand from the general public, perhaps fashion masks that offer roughly the same protection as a standard surgical mask but cannot be used by healthcare workers is an important new option.
While many people and celebrities are turning to fashion face masks as a way to enjoy a little self-expression with their safety, the question of whether a serious on-going public crisis like a pandemic is being made light of through the use of fashion face masks with polka dots and wording like “drippin.” The reality is we will likely be dealing with the coronavirus for months to come, and wearing a face mask has become a responsible necessity. With something that needs to be worn in the long term, there’s little harm done by letting people have a little fun with the way they protect themselves in these challenging times. If anything, a fashion mask might be a small ray of sunshine that brings a little light to an otherwise bleak feeling situation.
In the meantime, many major designers have put their manufacturing locations to work for creating masks that will replenish the supply needed by healthcare workers. Fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel have gotten to work making protective gear like hospital gowns and masks for those working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Prada and Burberry have also put their fashion production machinery into use for creating face masks that are in desperate need.
It seems like fashion, whether making fun masks for the public or medical-grade masks for healthcare workers, has stepped up to give back during the coronavirus pandemic.