Humans have an old habit of turning utility products into decorative ones, so it was perhaps inevitable that face masks would become fashion accessories after Covid-19 forced them onto the faces of populations around the world. Now companies such as J.Crew and Gap are selling masks, and hordes of home sewers are peddling them on Etsy.
But where there is fashion, there is the potential for luxury too. Within the mask market, a small high-end segment has emerged in the form of pricey designer masks and sought-after styles that trade at a premium on resale sites.
Some designers normally in the business of producing runway collections have recently added masks to their offerings. Collina Strada sells stunning masks adorned in bright prints and tied with bows. They cost $100. Proenza Schouler’s $100 masks come in materials such as a silk-viscose blend satin and a nylon-cotton gingham print, though both are sold out. More affordable are Prabal Gurung’s $55 masks, made of a floral jacquard fabric, and Erdem’s $65 mask, fashioned from printed Italian cotton.