Designer Face Mask – trend 2021. Review by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.
It’s been 1 year when we all faced Coronavirus, and started to battle it. And we all tried to live with it. Of course in March and April 2020 many fashion houses and designers stopped their production to start urgent production of the face masks for the hospitals and the people who were in the most need. Almost immediately the question arose if the luxury fashion brands will also produce the face masks to sell to public. And of course all luxury brands refused, as all brands find it inappropriate to profit from health crises. Some European countries like France or Italy put price limit for the face masks. American Federal agency FDA (Department of Health and Human Services) and French AFNOR ( French national organization for standardization, International Organization for Standardization) made immense effort to find by testing what fabrics can be used, and developed norms for production of the masks. Two cotton tissues can’t be used to protect against the virus.
Each and every company gave support to fight health pandemic. We are media, and we dedicated all our time to communication, explanation, published tutorials about how to make self-made face masks protective (70%) against the virus. We supported AFNOR to bring this communication to public, to all European countries, specially to Italy. Read Face mask and how to make it PROTECTIVE. We published and distributed tutorials, and explanations, created explicative videos…. We also published information about the companies who participated in these hard times with financial and technical support. Read Coronavirus Covid-19 and how we face it. These hard times are in the past. Today our lives are getting back to normal, we are learning to be prudent, protective, learning social distancing, wearing masks, changing our ways of communicate and live.
So today we don’t have a shortage in face masks, you can buy disposable, you can buy tissue masks with filters or without, like a tissue case for the chirurgical masks. Let’s face it, face mask became an accessory, an accessory of fashion, which we have to wear every single day and everywhere. We try to find a face mask to match our wardrobe. Just plain black or white, or chirurgical blue is no longer a solution. We want to be beautiful and stylish, and specially if half of our face is covered, so it’s the first thing other people see.
Already in September 2020 some fashion luxury brands started to produce face masks to sell to public. Some earlier than others. Luxury fashion houses like Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Versace and some others decided not to produce face masks to sell to public, even as a fashion accessories with the famous logo, for one simple reason – not to be accused in taking advantage of health crisis. They didn’t want to open this can of worms. But the can is open, the worms are out, so we might all go fishing!
Face mask today became another fashion accessory, like scarf or gloves, belt or bag, which should be considered and be part of our every day style. So let’s check the most beautiful face masks, where to buy them, pricing, and what is fake. So as famous luxury houses decided not to produce face masks for sale, that decision created massive market for the fake ones.
The biggest online web-site who sells counterfeit goods, fake Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Versace face masks for prices like 8-12 euros, is Redbubble. It is not clear why no one close or file massive lawsuit to this so called “print-on-demand” web-site, with products based on user-submitted artwork, which belongs to a company based in Millburn (Australia), with offices in San Francisco (USA) and Berlin (Germany). Are the laws protecting trademark and copyright don’t exit in Australia? Or this promotion line of this company selling counterfeit goods could protect them from these laws: “Shop unique Louis Vuitton face masks designed and sold by independent artists“? So first and foremost, if you see massively advertised face masks of luxury brands from this web-site, don’t even check them – all FAKES.
Where to find good selection of face masks from luxury brands? The best is FARFETCH web-site. There you can be sure that the masks you are buying are really coming from the luxury brands. And of course you can check your favorite luxury brands and see what is in stock.
And here I would like to talk a little about the brands, their understanding of the situation, pricing, development and all other subjects around the masks. I’ll go one by one.
Let’s start from Fendi. Yes, Fendi produced a mask, a super luxury fashion accessory. Cost 450 €. You can buy it HERE. This is a protective mask, but the price is not based on its protective qualities. It is a fashion accessory, with a leather, with a long ribbons to tie. Black ribbons adorned with tone-on-tone embroidered Fendi inscription. Matching pink pouch with contrasting logo.
Louis Vuitton produced a face mask and offered for sales to public. You just need to find a store. On the official web-site of Louis Vuitton the price is not indicated, but the face mask by Louis Vuitton you can see HERE. Odd… This mask raises many questions related to protective qualities, like pocket for a filter for example. From the look of it it’s just a knitted tissue. FDA and AFNOR very clearly indicated that knitted masks are not useful even for dust. Then pricing, and availabilities in stores…. Very odd…
I’d like to start with sharing my own List of HONORS.
Ralph Lauren I’d note as a Number 1. New York based company, with massively growing stock, with annual revenue more than 6 BILLION $, offers beautiful, classy, luxury (keep naming) … masks to public for 25 €. You can buy on official website HERE.
Number 2 on the list of HONORS is obviously belong to Marc Jacobs, American designer from New York, with turnover revenue around 50 million $ a year, proposed on the market funky and funny face masks. You can buy Marc Jacobs face masks for 25 € on his official web-site HERE. He also proposes set of 3 for 65 €.
French luxury brand Lanvin, the oldest Haute Couture fashion house, offers face masks for 30 €, or set of 2 for 60 €. You can buy them on Lanvin web-site HERE.
Fashion Brand Kenzo offers set of 3 face masks for 53 €. You can see it HERE.
Adidas maybe is not considered as luxury brand, but it is wildly popular and loved. From April 2020 they produced many masks, following FDA and AFNOR standards. And it was a corporate decision to keep the price 5 € piece. Today we can find sets of 3 in blue, white and black colors for 12,60 €. See Adidas masks on the official web-site HERE.
Popular French brand, who has its routs in Sentier, dearly loved by Parisian Bobo (certain social class. short for bourgeois and bohemian), Zadig & Voltaire popular 65 € for set of 2.
After little detour from exceptional and most popular masks from brands I’m getting back to the face masks proposed by luxury brands. I’ll go from smallest price to the biggest, and then of course couple of masks I’ll leave for the end, for my List of Shame.
In general luxury masks priced from 74 € to 195 €
Many luxury brands proposes today the face masks. The usual price is reasonable and varies between 75-100 euros. Italian luxury brands mind the norms, so that mask can serve more than to a style, French luxury brands like Chloe are trying their creativity in practical ways to use the filters. Very cute pink mask from Chloe is from Econyl – ecological nylon, whatever that might be, and with creative idea for a filter, can be found on Chloe US web-site for 60 $, or on Farfetch for 74 €.
And the price for the most beautiful and stylish mask obviously belongs to Dolce Gabbana. Good thing to know that the masks Dolce Gabbana’s proposing on their web-site apart from being absolutely beautiful, tasteful (without huge stupid logo), and must have accessory, are actually quiet strictly follow AFNOR standards. It is very important to know that there are definitely some protective qualities to the masks, and there’s also pocket for the filter. Dolce & Gabbana selection of face masks available on the brand web-site for 75 €.
Second in my list for the most beautiful and stylish face masks would be Emilio Pucci. This luxury brand proposes variety of very beautiful masks, also made by the standards, for 75 €. See the wonderful selection HERE.
If you know other Italian luxury brands, like Missoni, for example, you can also check their face masks for example. But they probably won’t be available in your country, as all their masks reserved only for Italy. I’d definitely suggest to check for Zegna face masks. Zegna is one of the first brands in Italy who stopped production in March 2020 and started urgent production of the masks for the hospitals, and gave many donations. If the masks for public are no longer available on Zegna web-site, you can still find them online for the price 80 € HERE.
Masks of Stella McCartney also cost 80 €. They might be not that pretty, just the name and the date when she started 2001, but let’s hope that useful, even if Brits don’t do anything by European.. by any standards… That wouldn’t probably be my first choice but someone might like it.
Classy little things – Tom Ford masks. Comes in 11 colors, for more than every day of a week. Very practical, very easy to style with suits. Cost 95 €. Available on Tom Ford official web-site.
And for the “piece of resistance”, before giving my List of Shame, let’s imagine that this expensive mask worth it, the mask offered by Balmain for 195 €. The first time this mask shown to public as a gift offered by Olivier Rousteing to Kim Kardashian in September 2020 before the show Spring Summer 2021. Let’s be precise. Balmain also offer masks for 75 € with huge B on it. Both masks are woven, which is not proposed by AFNOR as protective (somehow) fabric, but still the prices are fare. Both masks have several layers, and also have pocket for the filter. The best place to buy them it is obviously on Balmain web-site: Mask for 75 € is HERE, Mask for 195 € is HERE.
And now my List of SHAME.
The first place in the List of SHAME I have to give to Givenchy who offers face masks for 225 €. It’s just a black cotton mask, 1 layer, no filter pockets, basically nothing – no esthetic, no technology, just a piece of tissue. That does NOT cost 225 € even in the perfect world. SHAME IS HERE!
Then the second place in my List of SHAME is “proudly” shared between Virgil Abloh / Off-White and Marine Serre.
Virgil Abloh / Off-White proposes face mask for one of the most expensive on the market for 220 €. Question is for what? It’s just a cotton, no layers, or filters – basically NOTHING. Just an expensive piece of tissue, which has no value, not matter what Virgil Abloh thinks. It’s just “Off”… You can see his mask online in Printemps: SHAME IS HERE.
And the last, probably not even worth mentioning, but still… Who knows name in fashion Marine Serre? Anyone? No one? No one! Few years ago she won the LVMH price and get announced by Karl Lagerfeld. So?.. She showed since then a couple of collections, looked like a student collections… What happened since then? She has not yet developed brand identify, she is trying from one collection to another… No one knows her, apart Federation and couple of professionals. Her collections displayed in Galeries Lafayette. She priced her pieces very high, like known designers, no one buys them. No matter what she might imagine, her pieces are displayed until Sales 90%, and even for 100 € hardly interest public who come for shopping. Every time I witness it myself. So the head got too big, and couldn’t fit? So with this big head this designer “proudly” produced face masks – just a tissue with her logo on it for 128€. So she imagines her sewing work more important than Ralph Lauren or Dolce Gabbana? Just a piece of tissue… What’s her name again? SHAME 128€ IS HERE.
So to summer up. We have today great choice of fashion accessory – face mask, to complete our style. It is hard to say for how long we’ll need to wear it. And it is a first accessory today what we see when we looked at someone. So let’s look great! And not too forget that all these wonderful accessories, new trend 2021 should be used with the filter, which you can buy in any pharmacy, or like a “case” for chirurgical mask.