Burberry’s first attempt at mask fashion by a major brand clothing company is now with a line of face coverings available in brand’s signature beige and pale blue checks.
Though pictures of Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton branded masks proliferate on social media, these have been counterfeit designs. Bluechip fashion houses are slow to sell face covers as fashion because of the reputational risk that comes with appearing to profit from this crisis or glamourise it.
Burberry’s face mask is priced at PS90 and made from excess fabric. It is also available in the brand’s signature beige check as well as pale blue.
Many small fashion brands have started not-for profit face covers. One charity initiative saw British designers such as Halpern and Julien Macdonald, Mulberry, Raeburn, Raeburn, and Rixo design masks. 100% of the profits went to charity.
A few brands, including Marine Serre and Off-White, produced face coverings as fashion even before the pandemic.
The masks also provide an income stream to the struggling fashion industry during times of crisis, sometimes at the small, home-made, craft-based end.
Etsy, an online marketplace for craft and handmade goods, announced face-covering sales of $346m (PS264m), in the last three months. This represents 14% of all business. However, any hint that a powerful brand is trying to capitalize on the crisis has been met with ridicule.
Burberry’s website lists the credentials of its Burberry facecovering. These are meticulously written to reflect the controversy-prone status of this category. The masks are sustainably produced, the site states, with 20% of the selling price going to the Burberry Foundation Covid-19 Community Fund – which was established in April, soon after Burberry .started producing and delivering .personal protective equipment for the NHS. “Enhanced” means that the face covering has antimicrobial technology. This is a new fabric trend that gained popularity during the pandemic.