Masks go premium, becoming fashion statements
Published : Apr 26, 2020 - 11:01
Updated : Apr 26, 2020 - 13:34
Wearing masks has become the norm now for facial protection against the novel coronavirus. Though masks are worn for safety, fashion designers are putting their own spin on the item, turning them into fashion statements. 

While campaigns are taking place online to support the global fight against the virus, fashion designers here have decided to become part of the movement, with the Strong Together challenge.
Lie Sang-bong (left) and Shin Hye-young of Wnderkammer take part in Stay Strong challenge (Lie and Shin's Instagram accounts)

The challenge involves decorating face masks with printed patterns or encouraging words. Park Youn-hee of Greedilous, Lie Sang-bong who leads the brand named after him, and Shin Hye-young of Wnderkammer are among the participants. Celebrities on friendly terms with the designers are taking part as well, posting pictures of themselves wearing fashion masks.

Greedilous, a casual womenswear brand, manufactured its own line of fashion masks, with Park designing the prints herself in line with the brand’s 2020 fall-winter concept. Each mask is priced at 59,000 won ($48). All proceeds from the sales of the masks will be donated to charity. 

Park Youn-hee of Greedilous (right) poses with actor Lee Si-eon, who is wearing Greedilous' fashion mask (Park's Instagram account)

According to Greedilous, the masks are “identity masks,” meaning that they may not be enough for medical protection against the virus on their own. The brand explained that although the masks are equipped with a basic filter, customers should enhance the protection by adding a medical filter mask underneath.

Another brand, BreaThe Suit, launched in January, is a fashion mask brand led by designer Kim Seo-ryong, who also has a menswear brand named after him. Kim is recognized here for designing suits. 
(BreaThe Suit)

BreaThe Suit’s masks can be washed up to 40 times, and have a smart temperature function. They also come with replaceable filters. Masks from BreaThe Suit have been introduced to the public through pop-ups at local department stores. Each mask is priced at 69,000 won. 

(Le Maska)

Le Maska, launched in 2017, is a leading fashion mask brand here. The brand features 47 types of fashion masks in designs including vivid colors and tartan patterns.

The masks were originally launched for precaution against fine dust, but sales have been soaring amid the pandemic.

Priced at 13,000 won to 23,000 won, the masks are washable and come with replaceable filters. They are available at Shinsegae Department Store.

By Im Eun-byel (