Coronavirus couture: the rise of the $60 designer face mask

Coronavirus couture: the rise of the $60 designer face mask

While self-quarantining in her New York apartment recently, fashion journalist Sara Radin ordered a floral top, matching scrunchie and complimentary face mask constructed from the same blue, berry-printed fabric. Radin, who is recovering from a

presumed case of Covid-19, took a selfie in the full ensemble and posted it on her Instagram.

“I’ve been scrolling and will see other people post matching sets,” says Radin, a former trend forecaster. “The mask is the new ‘must-have accessory’ … but literally. You must have it.”

After weeks of claiming otherwise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced new guidelines to protect against the coronavirus, recommending people wear cotton face masks or cloth facial coverings when going outside.

In just one day, a huge market opened up: the designer face mask. Corona-related demand has even enabled some fashion labels to reopen their factories, providing desperately needed supplies and, for some, self-expression amid chaos.

Concern over the spread of coronavirus for months hasn’t stopped Marie Lodi and her husband from exercising their love of kitsch.

“Our masks are really flamboyant and have hot pink tie-dye and Guy Fieri flames on them,” says Lodi, a fashion writer and host of Fishnet Flix, a podcast about costume design. “Because we said if we are living in a pandemic and have to wear masks, then we might as well have some fun.”

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