Because the western world is still grappling with the first major virus incident in recent history, it is increasingly clear that masks will become part of the new normal moving forward. Already a part of everyday life in Asia where populations have experience with the spread of viruses; as in Asia, the mask will be another thing to reach the door out in the western countries along with wallets, phones and keys.
For designers and brands who have released masks during quarantine, creating them is a way to use what they have – fabric and production capabilities – to support what is happening in the world. “This project stems from the desire to use our resources to contribute to the national struggle against the pandemic and specifically to support healthcare workers who really need PPE,” said Rebecca Hessel Cohen, founder of the brand. LoveShackFancy.
The consumer demand that followed was so unexpected that designers found themselves unable to keep up with production, while the income stream they brought was a welcome surprise in the midst of the fashion industry that collapsed under the crisis.
“After we realized how much people really like masks, we decided to make it available on our website for purchases and donations. We sold out in less than 3 minutes and now we have a waiting list for new masks, “added Cohen.
Hanover Savas, COO and partners at Mighty Company, a LA-based brand that specializes in luxury leather outerwear, shares experiences similar to Cohen’s. “When we first got the idea, we didn’t realize how high the demand was. We released them to our site thinking we had produced enough to last a few weeks. In the first 30 hours they put them on the site, they were completely sold out,” he said .
And they are not the only ones.
“We are really confused by the speed of mask sales,” said Jessica Joffe, one of the founders of a specially sized women’s shirt brand, Choose Me. “It took 30 minutes for the first batch to sell out, and 15 minutes for the next.”
The economic benefits generated by these brands have helped overcome the highly erratic storm that has become this pandemic, providing some undisturbed cash flow. “We have maintained revenue in our business that is the same as the normal month combined directly to consumers and wholesalers,” Savas said.
And when masks become new important accessories, consumers shop for them in the same way as when they shop for other accessories expressions of themselves or because certain brands have certain benefits, cause brands to respond by creating masks that talk to the personality or needs of consumers.
“People like to express themselves through fashion. Why do we have to get that expression out of something more important than anything we wear now? “said Jessie Willner, founder of The Mighty Company.” We think because you have to wear a mask, not a smile, it might seem like the closest thing. “
This demand provides opportunities for brands to expand their current offerings and even grow their customer base. For Joffe, the mask was Même Chose’s first unisex product, which resulted in the brand experiencing a surge in male customers. “We suddenly told people to shop on our site, which was very exciting,” Joffe said.
Savas and Willner also make men’s masks, as well as masks for children because they quickly realize that masks are not one size for all types of products, and for their consumers, who buy for their entire family at once, comfort. one-stop shopping is something they want. “If someone wants this product, they hope to use it immediately,” Willner said. “We have tried to fulfill that request and listened more than before, so we are developing children’s and unisex masks.”
In addition, the price point that can be achieved from this designer mask, which allows new consumers to buy the brand, coupled with aspects of social trading – each of these brands donates masks or parts of sales to various organizations – and a new consumer base is born.
“This is a price point that is far lower than everything we carry, important items that you can easily justify spending $ 20, especially when we give 30% of each sale to the war against Covid,” Joffe said.
Luxury Italian intimate apparel brands, Cosabella, is taking it one step further. They are betting that the masks are here to stay and will release various styles for different occasions, once upon a time, we would never have imagined that we would need a mask.
“People will want masks for different reasons, so we make date masks, because when you want to look sexy, and in two weeks we launch a bridal mask,” said Guido Campello, Cosabella’s Creative Head. “The others give birth, because you want your family to be in the hospital, and how do you do it safely?”
Campello’s wife. Sapna Palep, is the founder of PT Spring Street Dermatology in New York City and is one of the few dermatology offices that remained open during the crisis. Cosabella mask manufacturing begins with supplying attractive and comfortable masks in its office throughout the day by its staff. When quarantine goes, Palep begins to see increased skin problems with his client due to the use of masks including acne on patients who have never experienced skin irritation, ingrown hair, and eczema flare-ups, problems that inform the type of Cosabella mask will create in the future .
“How do you wear this mask and take care of your facial health? Makeup will cause irritation, sweat will cause clogged pores, and having detergent that is so close to your face can cause irritation, “Campello said.
While masks have become an unexpected revenue stream during very challenging times, the intention of solidarity at the core of the brand that created them remains the same.
“It is very important to me that we continue to support our community throughout the pandemic,” Savas said. “The hope that our masks can bring a smile to someone’s face at this difficult time is very inspiring and has encouraged us to continue to create and donate as many masks as we can.”