Face it, they’re here to stay for a long time. OMG out of the gate did we make a pandemic funny? We’ve been cooped up way too long. Yes, we’re talking about that hotly debated grim necessity, the face mask. Wouldn’t it just like the fashion world, though, to make the most of it and offer us some swank, True Fashionista choices? As it goes, in between the last time we discussed face masks and this moment, designers have been making the most of their quarantine time to come up with some pretty fashion-forward versions of that cloth covering we all have to deal with if we want to, you know, live healthy. At least now we can enjoy it just a smidge.

While members of the fashion industry have made significant contributions to relief efforts, shares Jaclyn Cohen for Harper’s Bazaar, the industry as a whole has still faced a sharp decrease in consumer spending, placing strain on the rest of the fashion food chain from production to retail, and beyond. Yet, with total dedication to the cause, many emerging brands like La Ligne, are not only  creating exceptional versions of safety sold with clothing to match, but many are also donating proceeds to various charities. La Ligne are sending 15% of all mask sales to ROAR NY, an organization that provides aid to New York’s restaurant workers.

Silvia Tcherassi offers cotton masks handmade from upcycled left over fabrics from her older creations, sending 100% of the proceeds to Every Mother Counts, a charity founded by Christy Turlington that advocates for safe, dependable maternity care for expectant mothers in underserved populations around the world.

Elsewhere in the True Fashionista face mask world, there’s The Vampire’s Wife. Ya gotta love that name! This British company has fashioned some unique multi-layered gems including a varied line of masks available in several colors, fabrics and patterns. They are donating all of the proceeds from these sales to several worthy organizations including  Say Her Name.

Speaking of the Brits, if you want to feel royal, then hunt down the True Fashionista mask worn recently by Duchess Camilla, as reported by Fiona Ward for Hello Fashion Magazine. Featuring a gorgeous peacock feather print, it was crafted by couture designer Fiona Clare specifically to match the Duchess’ chic denim dress.

Many fashion houses that pre-COVID made anything but masks have flipped their factories for the effort. Bridal designer Katie May is one such example, cranking out seriously fancy protection with masks that offer sequins, lace and crepe fabrics, plus adjustable straps. Jewelry brand Lajoux is making handmade, pleated masks using smooth soft cotton velvet, and Ojai-based Lupa Bags have switched from their avant-garde luxury leather handbags in favor of double layer cotton masks with pockets for filter inserts.

The big names have gotten on board as well. Dolce and Gabbana have produced a limited edition mask in hydrangea. No two are alike and are only available while the fabric lasts. Michael Kors handmade masks offer a comfort lining and logo-emblazoned outside.  However, the company reminds you that the mask is not going to protect you from Covid-19, but can be worn to remind you not to touch your face.

In France, haute couture giants Chanel, Dior and others have formed a seamstress network to make face masks specifically for frontline and essential workers, the NY Times reports. The collective, called Tissuni (an amalgamation of French words for “united fabric”) was founded in March by Chanel seamstress Marie Beatrice Boyer. Tissuni has grown to include over 100 members from fashion houses like Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gautier and more. Making the masks has given Ms. Boyer a fresh perspective on fashion.

“You realize that a simple piece of fabric, well cut, can have a direct impact on people’s lives,” she said. “We will never see a more beautiful collection than that of all the masks made and distributed free of charge by all the seamstresses and dressmakers from all houses and all regions.”

Here in Naples, we are thrilled to offer masks made from upcycled clothing by American fashion sweetheart Lilly Pulitzer, as well as a spray designed to keep your mask fresh during all-day use. You can get your Lilly on and stay safe, protected and comfortable, with True Fashionistas. Shop in-store or online.





Jennifer Johnson