Now an essential part of everyone’s daily wardrobe, face masks are being embraced by fashion as a lucrative new product category with huge potential.
Amongst 2020’s unexpected twists and turns is the mainstreaming of face masks which, both fashionable and functional, are taking the apparel industry by storm. Currently a wardrobe staple, designers and high street retailers alike are beginning to realise the potential of tapping into the lucrative market, launching their own lines dedicated entirely to the essential accessory.
With Virgil Abloh’s Off-White masks selling for up to $250 on eBay at the moment – quickly becoming the most searched-for menswear product online this year (according to the Lyst Index) – there’s simply no denying the mass-appeal for more unique protective coverings. And brands are sure taking note.
Releasing its three-layer Airism masks in Japan earlier this month, Uniqlo was positively ahead of the game. Prompting overnight queues for the reusable items worldwide, the launch marked the beginning of a new international trend, one that’s kickstarted a veritable flood of masks onto a market that’s already looking to be relatively saturated. The key to succeeding therefore, is to innovate rapidly and continuously. ‘You must change really quickly,’ says manufacturer Monica Sarti, whose company immediately switched from making scarves to masks as the pandemic began traversing the globe. ‘Otherwise people get bored.’