Today, many people do not leave their homes without wearing accessories, such as handbags, belts, wallets, and sunglasses. It seems that the next item to join these accessories is the face mask. Corona virus has unfortunately survived longer than expected, and its impact on the people around the world is growing.
COVID-19 has not only changed the way people live, it has also affected the fashion industry as well. The novel virus forced us to hide half of our faces, identities, and emotions behind a piece of cloth. But now a new bond between the face mask and fashion has been created and the fashion industry is trying to make the face masks more attractive and conceptual.
Face Mask History
The face mask has a long history. The earliest form of these masks was hijab, also called “niqab” or “burqa”. Some women in the Middle East used to cover their faces for religious or cultural reasons, but then a new type of mask was invented for medical purposes and had nothing to do with religion.
There are ancient images of medical professionals from the middle ages, treating their patients wearing beak-like masks. It seems that those masks were filled with some herbs such as cloves or cinnamon, as well as liquids, and the doctors who wore those masks are called “beak doctors”. The Doctors wearing black robes, dark hats, and beak-like masks were the symbol of the deadly epidemic of the black plague in the middle ages.
The scientific introduction of mouth and nose coverage goes back to the late 90th century. In 1897, Carl Friedrich Flügge, a hygienist working in Breslau, published his work results on the droplet infections of tuberculosis. Since then, the respiratory system as a transmitter of germs came into focus and the necessity of using masks in the medicine was realized.
Apart from medical applications, air pollution of some industrial countries and some workplaces led to the daily use of face masks, particularly in East and Southeast Asia. But after the prevalence of corona virus, they became an integral part of people’s lives. Now, more than 50 countries have mandated wearing face masks in public. Even in the countries that wearing masks is not mandatory, most citizens tend to wear them to protect themselves and others from the novel killing virus namely corona.
How face masks entered the fashion industry?
With the emergence of corona virus, medical masks could not meet the needs of the people. The lack of specialized masks and the urgent need for it caused many people to make their cotton masks at home. Meanwhile, governments started to encourage people to make the masks themselves. Soon, cotton handmade masks conquered the market with different fabrics and designs.
On the other hand, most parties, festivals, sports events, and other gatherings were canceled and people had to spend most of their time at home. During the COVID period, many reputable clothing manufacturers and brands suffered huge financial losses as people did not need to buy new clothes for staying at home. For example, the luxury group of Kering, owner of Gucci, has reported sales drop by 44% in the past quarter, and Adidas has announced a total profit of € 32 million for the first quarter of 2020, meaning a 95% drop compared with € 632 million in the first quarter of 2019. In such situations, smart brands focused on face masked as a new way to sell their products and started producing stylish face masks that matched the clothes.
New face masks
Fashion designers have taken interesting steps to update the face masks in different ways and give masks a special and unique design. To create stylish face masks, some designers decided to use various colors and themes which were in great harmony with other clothes of the individuals. For example, they use beads and shining stones to decorate masks for wedding dresses. Some others started to use facial expressions schema on the masks to restore the feelings and intimacy lost behind the masks.
Some praised designers targeted the comfort and convenience of the people who use masks most of the time. For instance, a manufacturing company in New Orleans, USA, has offered a mask that has made it possible to drink without removing the mask from your face. These face masks have a built-in hatch that makes it easy to use a straw for drinking. Another example is the masks, which are a combination of a mask and a shield, eliminating the need to wear both separately.
More creative designers went further and used the latest technology in the masks. A fashion designer named Chelsea Klukas has designed a LED face mask. These LED face masks have a LED matrix display, and their users can control the shapes, text, and even the color of the lights themselves. The material of these masks is such that you can easily breathe with them. Also, its components can be separated so that it can be washed or turned into a regular mask. In addition to the mask components, a battery is provided to keep the screen on.
Another technology-blended face mask is “c-mask”. A Japanese startup has succeeded in creating a new type of mask that can be connected to the user’s mobile phone. Donut Robotics, the creator of c-mask, claims that its new product can convert audio into text. Of course, converting audio to text in the message section of the mobile phone is not the only feature of this advance mask. It can translate messages written in Japanese into eight other languages.
Where to buy face masks?
You can buy simple surgical masks or N95 masks from pharmacies around, but you cannot find a designer face mask in drugstores. You may find some stylish face masks in the brand clothing stores, but the best place to buy the best face masks in through the internet. You can access a variety of mask designs and models in online shops easily. Moreover, if you intend to save some money you can find cotton face masks for sale in some online stores.
Corona virus does not seem to be disappearing soon and the world has a long way to go to overcome the disease. Therefore, the bond between the face mask and fashion will deepen and it seems to last after the corona virus disappearance. The reason is that people are now accustomed to wearing masks, and in the days with polluted air or during the spread of colds and other respiratory diseases, we will see more people using masks, especially the creative and stylish ones. So, buy your favorite one today and build your unique style with your unique mask.
Stay safe and God bless you.