COVID-19 pandemic left the businesses, from all walks of life in deep waters. Many were forced to carve out new trajectories to stay afloat. While the Indian fashion industry was losing its grip on the market, COVID-19 offered a new market to them altogether. The news of famous ateliers being converted into factories for producing face masks and sanitizers was all over the place. Now, it seems as if the industry has started embracing “the new arrival”
Face masks are deemed as the most vital equipment for protection against coronavirus. Once, when businesses ran out of supply to serve their demand, are now offering these in abundance. With strategies like selling family pack and color coordinated face masks, brands have shifted their focus to curate ingenious cotton masks with a motive to outdo their competitors. From local boutiques to luxury brands, everyone is competing hard to produce beautifully designed face masks for the customers of the“new normal” era.
The Brands Edit
Indie brands like Tjori and Fabindia are keeping up with their brand’s image and crafting masks with beautiful earthy tones and block prints. Subtle colored and printed face masks have now become the identity for the workwear brand- Fable Street. “Our initial focus was to make masks that were comfortable, soft, and sanitized. We started small with one variety of these and realized that there was a clear demand for such face covers,” explains Ayushi Gudwani, founder of Fable Street.
Ace designers like Masaba Gupta and Payal Singh are tailoring out masks that resonate with their style and designs.
Furthermore, Masaba Gupta has dedicated a whole segment to her mask collection called “Maskaba”. The collection constitutes cotton face masks in colourful and quirky prints and are available on the designer’s official website for Rs. 750.
Luxury brands are too following suit. Affluent brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, among others, are producing these protective mouth gears with their popular insignia printed on them.
What led to the famous trend?
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” this famous saying from the times of WWII, is what the brands are inspired from. During the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, companies witnessed a tremendous surge in the demand for these cotton masks, however, it could not be met. Tapping on this scarcity of the most essential items and realizing its future potential, businesses have now started embracing the trend. Another major reason that leads to this transition is the nationwide lockdown. As it restricted people to step out and the deliveries of non-essential items, the only thing that could help the retailers move was the essential ones.
Moreover, the comfortable and aesthetic nature of the cotton masks is making them popular, resulting in a wide range of colors and prints. Customers now have the option to match them up with their garment, as many brands are offering customization as well.
They are functional yet less intimidating than medical masks. With masks becoming mandatory, they will be a permanent part of our look, and people will get creative,” says Ronita Mukerjee, executive director for client services at brand management company Landor Associates. “These masks are almost a form of self-expression, an extension of fashion.”