Musician & Songwriter VELVE wearing I‘ VR.
I’m well aware that there is a certain controversy about self-made or non-medical face masks. The German government has so far been shy about ordering the people to wear face protection, mostly because of the extreme shortage of available certified masks but also because the effectiveness of masks is still debated. One thing is certain though: Those few countries that have a mask policy in place seem to have much flatter curves. This can, of course, have various reasons. But then again, if you just think about it. The more people wearing masks, the less those will accidentally cough or sneeze out into the open in the early stages of infection when they are the most contagious and the least likely to show symptoms yet.
While a few weeks ago the Germans seemed to be quite reluctant to wear masks, in the last week it has dramatically changed and I see a lot of people with self-made or other fabric masks out in the streets. And I do admit it does make me feel a little more safe seeing more people around wearing masks and consciously protecting others from being accidentally infected by them.
But where should one get a mask if you have zero DIY skills and maybe don’t want to wear a folded kitchen towels with rubber bands out in public? This is where Berlin designers come in. Pretty much all of them currently had to close their shops due to the quarantine and unless they have an already thriving online business they will have a hard time making any profits in the coming weeks. As for many small businesses they will have a rough couple of months in front of them dealing with the crisis. So it makes a lot of sense that they give the people what they are urgently looking for: face protections.
Of course, none of them equal the medical standards of certified masks, but hey, it’s better than no mask at all. We found a couple of Berlin designers and creative people who currently produce reusable masks in different designs. Keep in mind: if these masks should have any kind of protective quality you have to wash them very often with hot water or disinfect them somehow before wearing them.
Isabel Vollrath – I‘ VR
Avant-garde designer Isabel Vollrath was one of the first designers that I spotted that came up with a quite elaborate and elegant design for a face mask protecting mouth and nose. Especially her Ballerina edition looks quite stunning. Available on request.
iHeartBerlin favorite UY is serving sleek black club realness with their minimal face mask and tube mask. Once the Corona whole mess is over you can certainly continue wearing them at the next sex-positive rave – better be save than sorry! Available here.
The Berlin design veteran Paula Immich is serving us some cute, silky polka dot vibes with her new face masks that come in cotton or silk with various color and pattern variations. 50% of the proceeds will get donated to COVID-19-Solidarity-Response-Fund of the WHO (World Health Organization). Available here.
Berlin’s most colorful designer Tata Christiane has also come out with her own face masks. In typical Tata fashion, they come in bold patterns and prints and are even reversible. They are certainly looking funky! Available here.
Berlin-based label Obectra has wowed us earlier this year with their big fashion show at the beautiful Delphi theater. It has also come out with a nice, minimalistic black mask that comes in a pleated design with heavy double layer jersey. Available here.
Our favorite Berlin diva Kaey is one of the many performing artists who is affected by the canceling of events and the closing of clubs and bars. While her shows are now only happening as live streams, she is currently making use of her fashion talents to create masks out of fun queer fabrics. So far she’s done a cute rainbow flag, a ranchy Tom of Finland design and lavish sequins to keep the queer community visibly during these strange times. If you are interested in these masks you can get in touch with her via Facebook.
The Kreuzberg-based sustainable streetwear label Ästhetika is also using the lockdown of their shop to produce a range of colorful cotton masks available in many different patterns and with a metal string sewn into the upper part to shape the mask to your face. Available in their webshop.
If you know of any other designers currently sewing face masks, do let us know in the comments below! Stay safe.