012 - mask (on)
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
more style, less nail spa.
Like it or not, masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Wearing one in public is by no means a new concept - it's been a common courtesy in many Asian cultures for decades - and even in a best-case vaccine scenario, I think the use of masks will remain commonplace.
If anything, this pandemic has certainly drawn out our collective inner germaphobes - I now shudder at the thought of cramming in shoulder-to-shoulder on the L train every morning, only to touch a swath of high-contact surfaces and then wolf down a bagel with no hand sanitizer in sight (also, you're telling me they weren't regularly cleaning the subways before all this?!)
With the initial panic (and subsequent hoarding) of March & April largely behind us, masks are now available in a spectrum of materials and designs optimized for different temperatures, applications, and outfit coordinations. Sure, you could just keep wearing your blue medical mask - but then again, you could also just wear Crocs and basketball shorts every day - and if you're reading Bezel, odds are that's "just not your bag, baby".
The Armoury x Ascot Chang - $20
The international arbiters of haberdashery over at The Armoury have teamed up with famed Hong Kong atelier Ascot Chang to offer an upscale mask that pairs perfectly with that new suit that's been sitting in the back of your closet for the last six months. All profits go to Coalition for the Homeless, which offers aid for down-on-their-luck New Yorkers - an increasingly urgent cause as colder weather rolls in.
Bomme Studio - $12
Sustainably-made from up-cycled fabric, these dual-ply cotton masks are cheap, comfortable, and go with virtually everything. Easy.
Daniel Patrick - $25
For the more streetwear-inclined among us, LA-based designer Daniel Patrick now offers one-of-a-kind 100% nylon masks in two sizes. As quoted in GQ, "if you're if you've gotta wear a mask, you might as well get one in a colorway no one else has".
Polo Ralph Lauren - price TBA
Horsepower, horsepower, all this Polo on I got horsepower! Keep it preppy with Ralph's new line set to be released in the coming weeks. Offering both cotton and high-filtration options, these masks scream "I really hope the line at Citarella isn't too long because I have a private tennis lesson with Sergio in forty minutes".
Suara - $14.50
This reversible mask is breathable, waterproof, and features two layers of polyester microfiber with a FFP2-certified bacterial interior filter. Unlike basic cotton masks, this one has a metal nose clip for an improved fit and doesn't need to be rewashed after every use.
Made by Suara (the label of Spanish DJ Coyu), this mask has it all - techno, David Bowie, and cats.. did I mention all proceeds go towards helping our stray feline friends on the streets of Barcelona? Can't go wrong.
Adidas - $20 (3-pack)
Cyka blyat! Now you can rock the three stripes head-to-toe. Made from super-comfy recycled polyester, these masks aren't medical-grade, but will certainly suffice for cruising around town or the beach. If they're good enough for Antoni, they're good enough for me.
Ki Collection - $65-$100
Taking her cues from the "Logomania" craze of the mid-80s (championed by fellow New York designer Dapper Dan), Kiki Pedro-Hall repurposes designer dust bags into chic, hand-sewn masks. Featuring wire nose clips and muslin lining, these masks can be worn on their own or fit over an N95 for any unavoidable adventures on public transit. One-fifth of the proceeds are donated to national PPE services.