Like it or not, masks are here to stay. From street vendors and online fashion labels to fancy designer stores, masks are now ubiquitous. However, masks are no longer just a pandemic precaution. The mask mandate has turned them into a chic fashion accessory; a medium for showcasing artistic skills and a lucrative business opportunity as well.
The hue and cry for N95 masks and disposable surgical masks in the beginning of the pandemic has now been almost entirely replaced by the growing trend of reusable, breathable and colourful cotton masks. Be it the plain masks in bold and solid colours, hand painted artistic masks, the signature Rajasthani block printed masks or the sequin and jewel ornamented flamboyant masks, there are a plethora of options on offer in Jaipur. The everyday use cotton masks usually range from INR 50-300 and the high end designer ones go up to INR 1000.
Hand Painted Masks
Artist Aditi Agarwal, popularly known for her feather paintings, is now using masks to showcase her artistic talent. “I recently got an order for painting a mask by an owner of two cats. He wanted cats hand-painted on the mask”, tells Aditi. “Besides this I have also painted masks inspired from the designs of blue pottery”, she adds. Painted with acrylic colours, these masks are two layered and range from INR 200-250. Indeed, a great gifting option for birthdays, festivals and other special occasions.
Equestrian Themed Masks
The well known Polo equipment and fashion brand based out of Jaipur, Polofactory has introduced masks with unique equestrian and polo themed prints. “The masks are made in cotton with 3 layers for protection. They are designed with adjustable ear loops for a comfortable fit. Being the only equestrian themed masks, they are extremely popular with polo and horse lovers”, say the founders Vikramaditya Barkana and Jai Singh. They are priced at INR 600 for a set of 2.
Embroidered to Bridal Masks
A fashion house, Artefecto Designs also diversifies their production and launched a new range of protective face masks called ‘Mukhota’ in the pandemic. “Our range of masks vary from Jaipur block printed masks to digitally printed masks as well as masks adorned with Gujarati embroidery and Chikenkari embroidery from Lucknow. Furthermore, we also have a special bridal collective with customized ‘Aari Taari’ masks for those who are tying the knot in the pandemic”, tells the Founder of Artefecto Designs, Reena Rathore. Their masks range from INR 160 – 1000.
Customized for Kids
A kids apparel brand, Phool Booti by Priyanka Jain has introduced breathable pure cotton masks especially for kids between the age group of 2 years to 10 years. They are priced at INR 15. This thoughtful initiative definitely deserves to be lauded!
Yet another innovation in the mask market is that of ‘scarf masks’. Apart from covering the mouth and the nose, it also covers the neck. In some cases, there is also an option for covering the head. The ‘scarf masks’ serve a dual purpose of protection — from the Virus as well as the Sun.
While the Covid-19 cases are on a steep rise, the malls, restaurants and salons in the city are all back in action. When stepping out of your house, wearing a mask is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your own and others’ safety as well. And you can definitely look stylish while doing it!