Fashion brands including Allen Solly, Peter England, Zodiac and Fabindia have started creating designer masks to match shirts as covering one’s face becomes the new normal during the covid-19 pandemic.
Costing ₹100-500, the masks are also sold in combo packs and come in a variety of prints and designs so customers can match them with their outfits.
“Brands are exploring every opportunity to mitigate the economic pain of the lockdown. Fashion and apparel are among the worst hit. Hence, we will see innovation from them," said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer, at Technopak, a management consultancy.
Fabindia started the production of double-layered, washable and reusable masks made from cotton with craft-based block prints the brand is known for. The masks priced at ₹100 for a pack of three and ₹150 for a pack of five are at present available on the brand’s website and will soon be available at its stores as well.
“We intend to increase the production in response to the growing demand for what is effectively a reliable, efficient, and low-cost precautionary measure for our lifestyles as we move forward. The production of face masks also helps create livelihoods within our supply base. Our design teams are creating these using beautiful prints and fabrics, which are signature to Fabindia," said a Fabindia spokesperson.
The brand is looking at introducing masks in two sizes for children. It is also offering bulk rates for institutional and corporate orders.
The four brands owned by Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd, including Peter England, Allen Solly, Louis Phillipe and Van Heusen, have also launched reusable cotton masks priced at ₹499 for a pack of five. An email sent to the company remained unanswered.
Zodiac Clothing Co. Ltd has created a special line of shirts that comes with complementary matching masks. The range is available on the brand’s website.
“Given that masks will become the norm, they become a reminder for people to practise caution. We have taken the strategic decision of not charging customers for cotton masks and they will get them for free with every shirt they purchase. This is a way of giving back to our customers who stood with us for many years," said Salman Noorani, managing director, Zodiac.
Not just brands, designer Payal Singhal has also started work on creating masks after she ran a campaign leveraging influencers who were seen sporting her signature protective cotton masks. “It was a one-time campaign, but the masks will be available soon and will become an ongoing new product category for us now," Singhal said. The design and fabrics are in the sampling process and pricing is still being worked on. However, the masks will be affordable, she added