A Designer Face Mask? Boss or BS?

David Covarrubias, Contributing Writer

As the virus continues to persist, so does the new norm of wearing  face masks. Every time we leave our home or dorm room, we take this essential item with us.

The face mask has been synonymous with the virus, and many of us have quite the mask collection.

The internet exploded when large luxury retailers such as Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton announced that they would start designing masks – introducing the public to a new realm of protective luxury.

Social media erupted when 18-year-old music star, Billie Eilish, arrived at 2020 Grammy Awards earlier this year, wearing a head-to-toe outfit by Gucci – including a coordinating face mask. The face mask Billie Eilish wore appeared to be constructed out of a thin material which was translucent – her lips could be seen through the mask. It should be noted that the singer’s mask would not be competent protection against the virus.

A mask currently in curation will certainly be more protective than Eilish’s. Currently, a 1.5-million-dollar mask, made of 210 carat diamonds, is being designed by Israeli jeweler Yvel. The mask is set to be delivered to the public by the end of 2020. According to the House of Yvel, their face mask “is the world’s expensive face mask.”

This extravagant mask is made from 250 grams of 18 carat white gold and embellished with 3,600 black and white diamonds, per the designer’s description. An unknown buyer from Shanghair equested it to be “the most expensive in the world.”

Medical professionals would not encourage individuals to wear masks constructed out of materials that are translucent or made of synthetics, per suggestions made by the Center for Disease Control.

Fashion forward masks are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, as disposable masks are suggested to be left in the hands of medical professionals and essential workers.

Masks have become a staple in many wardrobes; however, they serve a crucial purpose– protecting ourselves and others from the Novel Coronavirus. Currently, thirty-four states have some sort of mask mandate in effect.

The best face masks the CDC recommends are those constructed from cotton. The CDC also suggests that face masks should have multiple layers of fabric, as noted in the “How to Selects Masks” tab on their website.

Since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of individuals have posted video’s online, through platforms such as YouTube and Zoom, showing the general public how to make simple and protective face masks.

“When face masks were difficult to find, I pulled out my mom’s sewing machine and began sewing masks,” said a student. “Not to mention that I got to pick out all the fabrics.”

If the idea of a “Do it Yourself” face mask seems strenuous or terrifying, Etsy has you covered. Etsy, an e-commerce website where handmade crafts are sold and shipped worldwide. Currently, Etsy is a leading seller of handmade facemasks.

Multiple Clark students enjoy purchasing masks on the popular website. “I love buying on Etsy, because I can find cute face masks for a reasonable and appropriate cost,” one student said. “It makes mask shopping fun and easy.”

When looking at masks from luxury sellers like Burberry and Fendi, the eye roll is a common reaction “It seems crazy that people are spending hundreds of dollars on luxury masks,” notes one Clark student. “It is also probably not even protective.”

It is important to clarify that the best and most effective face mask or face coverings are made out of simple cotton. Many of these designer face masks have been constructed out of materials not recommended by the CDC like silk and mesh – as seen in the aforementioned mask worn by Billie Eilish.

Face masks are here to protect us. Though it may be tempting to show off a designer mask, it is important to take into account that they are not necessarily better or safer than any standard or disposable masks. So protect your face.