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Luxury PPE: Hazmat Tuxedos and Louis Vuitton Face Shields

Fashion brands are releasing high-end masks and other personal protective wear.

It seems PPE has gone Hollywood.

At the Emmy Awards, aired Sunday, Sept. 20, trophy presenters were decked out in “tuxedo hazmat suits” to give out some of the awards live during the virtual ceremony. The protective formalwear was designed by Katja Cahill, a top awards show costumer, and Guy Carrington, executive producer of the awards show, according to Los Angeles Magazine. The pair worked with an actual hazmat suit manufacturer to ensure the safety of the winners and presenters, but the team went the extra mile to make the suits “safe and classy” – and inject some fun into an otherwise serious precautionary measure.

The Emmys aren’t the only place that masks and other personal protective equipment have gotten a designer upgrade. Just as the promotional industry pivoted to making cloth masks and transforming them into a sophisticated accessory, so too have high-end fashion designers put their spin on PPE. Louis Vuitton recently announced the creation of the LV Shield, an adjustable photochromatic visor that darkens when exposed to sunlight, trimmed with the brand’s signature monogrammed print. The visor is set for release in late October.

Louis Vuitton plans to offer a high-end face shield.  “When a brand like Louis Vuitton unveils an item like its new face shield, the rest of the industry pays attention,” Elizabeth Paton, a reporter for The New York Times style section told The Guardian. “It’s easy to see why a sleek, design-led face shield is likely to be embraced by high-fashion brands. It is more dramatic in structure and statement than a mask – which will appeal to creative directors who can sense an opportunity.”

Covidisor

The Covidisor is described on its website as an “N95 respirator that protects your entire head without covering it.”

During New York Fashion Week, a style blogger, Michelle Madonna, was spotted wearing a bubble-like face covering called the Covidisor, invented by Nicholas Kosta. The futuristic helmet is powered by an air-purifying respirator and costs $245. Kosta explained to Vanity Fair the fashion-related benefits of his creation: “With masks, people get makeup on them and lipstick on them, and after they take them off, they have to do their makeup again.”

Burberry

Burberry is selling masks, featuring its signature vintage check pattern.

But masks still have their place in the luxury world. Burberry, last month, unveiled a designer face mask featuring its iconic check design, becoming the first major design house to launch a high-end collection of masks commercially. The masks are made from leftover fabric and come in either pale blue or beige. The British brand says profits from the sale of the masks will go to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund.

Celebrities have been flexing their style muscles when it comes to PPE as well. Scout Willis was spotted in a fringed face mask recently, Anne Hathaway donned one sporting a pair of bright-red lips, and Jennifer Lopez showed off a pink, sequined number during a bike ride in Manhattan back in August.

The fact that designers and fashionistas alike are embracing the stylish side of PPE should be welcome news to promo pros offering custom masks and other protective gear. Clearly, there’s a desire in the marketplace for items that make a statement, in addition to helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Reprinted from ASI Central News – Web Exclusive

sixtwentysixLuxury PPE: Hazmat Tuxedos and Louis Vuitton Face Shields

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