One of the biggest changes COVID-19 has brought to the world has been the mask phenomenon, as they have become an essential part of safety precautions taken during the coronavirus outbreak. Not only have masks become an essential part of individuals’ wardrobes, but they are also a fashion statement that has quickly spread around the world.
Harding’s fashion merchandising majors have been discussing in class and observing first-hand how masks have been affecting the fashion world.
“Stores are making a profit off of masks now, and that’s what they’re focusing on,” senior Gracie Cox said.
Many fashion brands and vendors have been getting creative with masks over the past couple months, and there are a couple mask trends in particular that stand out this season.
“Animal print is really popular, at least among female masks,” senior Abby Dahlem said. “Just because leopard print was popular beforehand in other pieces of clothing and in other aspects of the fashion industry, and that just translated over into masks because they needed to match what’s being worn at the time.”
Dahlem also said the app TikTok has had an influence on the masks people choose to wear because “TikTokers” are posing and making dances in their masks, encouraging others to get creative with their masks.
Besides influencers on TikTok or Instagram making masks trendy, clothing brands and Etsy shops are using the need for masks as a way to donate to organizations. For example, Pura Vida (a jewelry company) and Vera Bradley (an accessories company) have partnered to produce masks and donate 5% of proceeds to Direct Relief — an organization that provides health workers with protective gear. Another philanthropic brand, Everlane, donates 10% of mask proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union.
This fashion phenomenon has been prevalent at Harding, and students are taking advantage of the many different styles and designs to express themselves through their masks. Many Harding students have used this new fashion statement as an opportunity to express themselves, to represent their social clubs and to add personality to their everyday look.
“I’ve seen a lot of sparkly masks, tie dye masks and a lot of black masks, especially for men,” senior Hannah Rushing said. “Masks are a huge opportunity to hop on a trend and add a little something to your outfit right now. We have to wear them anyways — we might as well make it fun.”