Face masks are big business these days, and they’re driving the explosion in the market for personal protective equipment, or PPE. In the earliest days of the pandemic, everyone raced to acquire those three-layer disposable face masks. Then people started making their own cloth face masks, which you could wash and re-wear instead of tossing in the trash. Then apparel companies got in on the action. Today you can buy face masks from all of your favorite clothing brands and retailers, as well as thousands of upstart companies hoping to fill an endless demand for PPE.
It was inevitable that designer companies would get in on the action. This past spring, Givenchy debuted a mask and cap combo that quickly sold out. Soon after Fendi created an “air pollution” mask festooned with their FF logo, which also sold out immediately and has yet to be restocked. This August, Footwear News reported that “[Burberry] became the first major luxury fashion house to create a collection of face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic.” (According to the Burberry website, more face masks are “coming soon.”)
In recent months we’ve also seen designer brands like Off-White and Rowing Blazers debut their own luxe face masks, while Louis Vuitton upped the ante entirely with a designer face shield. The Louis Vuitton face shield sported a photochromatic front, meaning the shield acts like a giant pair of sunglasses. Adorned with gold studs and the brand’s iconic monogram, it can also be worn as a visor.
More so than any previous designer product, the Louis Vuitton shield signified that we have officially entered the era of designer PPE. Even should the newly announced coronavirus vaccines prove effective, we think designer face masks, shields and various PPE are here to stay.
Celebs like Billie Eilish have been spotted wearing designer logo face masks, and there’s no shortage of DIY face masks sporting logos from popular designers like Gucci or Supreme. Most of these so-called designer face masks are 100% fake, as it’s easy to get a custom face mask with a logo of your choosing. However, the premier fashion houses are now rushing to fill demand, and we expect face masks to be a common site on runways for the foreseeable future.
Designer PPE Is the Next Fashion Frontier
In the early days of the pandemic hit, back when healthcare workers were facing a shortage of masks and PPE, fashion designers like Prada, Saint Laurent, Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell and Ralph Lauren (just to name a few) pivoted to outfitting medical personnel with face masks. Now, they’re creating designer PPE for consumers, too.
Today, you can buy a $120 Balenciaga face mask online, if you can find it in stock. In August, after Burberry debuted its $118 plaid face masks, Ralph Lauren revealed two new face masks, a Polo Cloth Mask and a Polo High-Filtration Mask, which also sold out. And, of course, there was the Louis Vuitton face shield, which was released (and promptly sold out) on October 30.
Of course, the rise of designer PPE was completely predictable. Back in May, SPY spoke with personal stylist Cassandra Sethi, founder of Next Level Wardrobe. She told us that many fashion houses already offer face coverings in East Asia, and that it was only a matter of time before we saw popular designers release face masks in the United States, too.
“Eventually, many brands will offer face masks as a part of their assortment because it’s an essential part of everyone’s lives for the foreseeable future. Also, many brands are seeing it as an opportunity to increase their transaction size — masks are an easy, low price point add-on item,” Sethi told SPY.
While designer face masks usually sell out very quickly, you can find authentic designer face masks online. Fashion designer Phillip Lim has a five-pack that’s incredibly reasonably priced and offers excellent protection, too. There are other designers who’ve also released multi-packs, so your face mask will be on-trend every day of the week. Dsquared has a reversible mask, and if you want to stand out in a crowd, we’ve found masks that’ll make you the center of attention (in a good way).
Designer Face Masks For Sale (and In Stock) Online
Fashionable consumers looking for luxe face masks have to be quick, as these products don’t stay in stock for long. We can’t guarantee the face masks below will remain in stock for much longer, so don’t wait too long to get yours. And, as with purchasing any designer product, be wary of counterfeiters. Only purchase designer face masks directly from the designer or via trusted retailers like Nordstrom, Mr Porter or SSense. If you do delve into the resale market, be very careful. We would recommend sticking to online consignment stores like StockX or The Real Real, which take steps to stop counterfeiters and avoid knock-offs and dupes.
Below, you’ll find the best designer face masks for sale from designers like Off-White and legacy fashion houses.
1. Off-White New Iconic Arrow Face Mask
Back when lockdown first kicked off, Virgil Abloh (he’s also the creative director of Luis Vuitton Men) designed a $60 mask for his Off-White label. It sold out immediately. After a brief respite, Off-White is selling face masks. This black and white face mask is made from cotton and can be used multiple times.
2. Dolce & Gabbana Poplin Face Mask With Carretto Print
Who knew that PPE, yes, even designer PPE could be so beautiful! Dolce & Gabbana’s print is like a baroque tapestry. However, this is much more comfortable and way easier to wear on your face than a tapestry! This unisex face mask is lined in soft cotton, and the front is that gorgeous print on neoprene fabric. The adjustable ear loops make it easy to fit to your face shape.
3. Supreme Face Mask
It seems that whatever Supreme creates, be it a collab with Yohji Yamamoto, Louis Vuitton, North Face or just their own latest drop, it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Between the limited production run and crazed fans, if you want something from Supreme, resellers like StockX are the way to go… and they do have (apparently) a lot of the Supreme face masks for resale. The Supreme red logo face mask features a unique wrap-around design that will certainly help you stand out. So far, it’s our favorite designer face mask of 2020.
4. BEGG X CO Wispy Painted Camo Face Covering
With everything that’s happened and the craziness that’s still going on, why not treat yourself to something luxe? The front of BEGG X CO’s face mask is made from 100% 14.7-micron cashmere from Scotland. The mask has a pleated front and is lined. The cotton ties make it easy to adjust to create the perfect fit. It also comes in solids and plaids.
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Adults 5-Pack Resuable Anti-Bacterial Face Masks
Fashion designer Phillip Lim’s masks are not just fashionable, they’ll protect you against pathogens. Unlike any of the other masks in this roundup, Lim’s masks are made from surgical grade two-ply 100% cotton that’s been treated with patented Fuze Pathogen Control kills 99.9% of pathogens within 24 hours. The masks have adjustable ear loops. Lim has partnered with Apex for Youth, a nonprofit organization that works with New York-based low income Asian and immigrant youths.
6. Rowing Blazers Face Masks
It’s no secret that the SPY team loves Rowing Blazers, and we were excited when founder Jack Carlson released Rowing Blazers face masks, which, of course, immediately sold out. Fortunately, the brand has restocked multiple times, and you can now find a wide selection of designer face masks at the brand’s online store.
7. Phillipp Plein Embroidered Logo Face Mask
BEST USE OF LOGO
If you’re fond of logos, but like ‘em subtle, check out this mask from Phillipp Plein. Go up your face mask game with this neon embroidered face mask that has dancing skulls and lighting bolts cavort with the PP logo. It has elasticated ear loops.
8. DSQUARED2 Icon Face Mask
DSQUARED2 has made one of the most popular designer face masks we’ve seen so far, and it’s getting harder and harder to find. This black face mask simply features the word “ICON” in bold print, and it will make you feel like one when you wear it.
9. Marcelo Burlon County of Milan Psychedelic Wings Face Mask
Designer Marcelo Burlon’s known for creating collaborations with Lebron James and Tyga and his love of psychedelia. His mask’s print echoes the prints that pepper his collection. Even better, 100% of the proceeds of the mask’s sale go directly to COVID-19 relief efforts.
10. Marni Check Print Face Mask Cover
BEST MASK COVER
Maybe you had parents that used slipcovers on their furniture, maybe not? Anyhow, that’s the thought behind Marni’s check print face mask cover. Simply slip your disposable face mask through the openings, and voila! Designer chic!
11. Missoni Black Glittered Face Mask
BEST FOR A NIGHT OUT
Gee, why should Ariana Grande have all the fun? Missoni’s come out with a unisex glittery face mask that perfect for date night or a night out with friends. The glittery rounded mask is trimmed in black knit and has elasticated ear loops.
12. Ben Sherman 3-Pack Reusable Cotton Face Masks
British menswear designer Ben Sherman’s created three packs of printed cotton face masks. Each stretch cotton face mask has a moldable nose wire, is lined in soft jersey, and is slightly water-resistant. For each pack bought (there are four different packs) one pack will be donated to healthcare and frontline essential workers and volunteer organizations
13. Palm Angels Red Logo Cotton Face Mask
Will Farrell wore an assortment of Palm Angels wares in the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The label’s also been seen on the small screen in Black-ish, Grown-ish and P-Valley. They’ve made a selection of cotton face masks, and this bright red one with a pleated front will make any gray day seem a bit less annoying.
14. Robert Graham #WearableArt Face Masks
The New York-based men’s and women’s clothier has a reputation for creating one-of-a-kind prints that subtly stand out, and this mask collection is a perfect example of his wares. Each cotton mask is made from high quality cotton, has adjustable ear loops and comes with their own matching pouch, making them very comfortable face masks to wear. The masks are pleated so they’ll easily conform to your face and cover you from nose to chin.