In-your-face luxury: High-end designer face masks for the 1%
Luxury face masks are the new “It” bag. With luxe loungewear on the rise, it’s no surprise that those who can afford a $1,460 tracksuit might want an equally lavish face mask to wear during their silk pajama dry-cleaning runs.
Face coverings might be a matter of practicality in the era of COVID-19, but for the 1%, fancy masks and shields have become a new opportunity to project individual status. And for designers, these branded coverings are a new source of income during this rocky time for the fashion industry.
Eco-futurist designer Marine Serre was already ahead of the curve when she included a fashion-forward mask, created in collaboration with climate-conscious brand Airinum, in her spring and summer 2020 runway show in September 2019. Naturally, as the coronavirus spread, the $250 masks sold out. Although they won’t be restocked, a number of other luxury labels have since released their own designs. Here are six of our favorite designer face coverings on the market or soon to be.
Virgil Abloh’s in-demand Italian luxury streetwear label recently ranked No. 1 as the world’s most popular fashion brand, according to global fashion search platform Lyst’s first-quarter report. Although most of Off-White’s designs tend to run in the $300 to $700 range, its mask collection is surprisingly accessible, especially compared with other designer-brand price points. While a number of Off-White’s masks have already sold out, its Black Arrows Mask in black fuchsia (featuring the label’s recognizable arrow motif) is still available for $105 at off---white.com. (A version of the same design was recently spotted on style maven Angelina Jolie. Therefore, it likely won’t be long before the design sells out.)
Imitation of Christ, started by designer and actress Tara Subkoff, kept things at home with its Highland Park show. Its spring and summer 2021 collection is now available on resale site the RealReal.
When the pandemic hit the U.S., the New York fashion designer was one of the first to create and donate masks for frontline workers. Siriano has since created accessibly priced masks ($30 to $75) for the public including one style in black covered by several uses of the word “vote” in white lettering. Also, on offer is a small capsule collection of made-to-order face coverings, including the Black Golden Petal Mask ($465) and Slate Blue Crystal Mask ($595), which benefit the designer’s “mask project” donation efforts. An available “FU COVID” mask also goes for $595. All designs are available at christiansiriano.com.
The British heritage brand is one of the first major luxury fashion houses to launch reusable masks using excess material from its collections. The two styles feature the label’s iconic Nova Check print in beige and pale blue, and they reportedly will retail for about $118 when they’re released this year. In the meantime, consumers are encouraged to sign up on the brand’s website, burberry.com, to receive an alert about timing. The label will donate 20% of the masks’ retail price to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund.
The Italian luxury label created a series of colorful and unmistakably Missoni masks in a variety of vibrant prints for men and women. Generally ranging from $90.95 to $142.92, the high-fashion face coverings have sold quickly on missoni.com. A selection of the masks are being sold at brownsfashion.com.
Hope and Justin Schneider might have predicted our WFH reality with their brand Wolf & Shepherd’s sneaker-meets-dress-shoe approach.
The Beverly Hills-based brand’s pure silk mask includes a matching silk box and two washable cotton liners. Made in Italy, the masks, which also can be special-ordered, retail for $480 and come in a couple of prints and colors including black. (A sold-out matching silk mask and tie set went for $1,350.) Masks and face shields are available at bijan.com.
On Oct. 30, Louis Vuitton will debut the LV Shield, a light-sensitive, protective visor. The French fashion house has yet to share how much the face covering will retail for but having golden studs and the brand’s signature monochromatic trim, the face shield could be priced in line with the label’s other accessories (headbands start around $445 with branded fur earmuffs going for $1,200). A representative for the brand didn’t confirm pricing for the LV Shield, which is said to protect a person’s face from sun glare. The chic shield will be available in select Louis Vuitton stores worldwide. Information: us.louisvuitton.com
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