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Face Mask Bling Could Be A Thing |  August 04, 2020 (0 comments)


Hong Kong—Now that face masks are de rigueur around the world, it’s time to take them to the next level. Forget utilitarian disposable jobs. Go way beyond cute cats, your favorite sports team, or even a photo of yourself superimposed on it: we’re going straight to serious bling, using real precious metals and gems. Image: The Pune Mirror via Twitter

The South China Morning Post reports that masks made of diamonds, gold, pearls, and more are popping up all over Asia. For instance, there’s the fellow in India who made a mask out of pure gold. He swears it’s lightweight enough to be comfortable and that he can still breathe. It cost about $4,000 US. Also in India, a store in Surat—the diamond-cutting center of India—is making a splash with bridal couples and wedding guests for its diamond-and-CZ studded masks.

In Japan, Tokyo designer Rieko Kawanishi is offering masks made from real Akoya pearls. Each mask takes three days to sew and contains 310 real pearls of different sizes, creatively attached in patterns. Its price? One million yen (roughly $9,350.) Watch a video here.

Back on U.S. shores, designer Michael Ngo, whose clients include the likes of Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Jennifer Lopez, is making a line of masks embellished with Swarovski crystals, retailing for $500. He’s also offering plainer versions for about $110. Whatever the price, he’s donating 100% of net proceeds to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, where he raised almost $30,000 by May alone. He’s also donating proceeds to Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations, depending on the mask purchased (such as the Swarovski rainbow version.)

More important than how they look, however, is how they work. Kawanishi recommends wearing her pearl masks over a regular mask as decoration, not protection. The Indian businessman with the solid gold mask admits he’s not sure if it’s effective. But the SCMP says Dipak Choksi, the Surat jeweler making wedding masks, told the BBC that they are medical grade N-95 masks, and washable as well. And when you either get tired of wearing jewelry on your face or (hopefully) there’s no longer a need to, you can take the gems off and have them set into a piece of jewelry.

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