By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more people are wearing masks in public and that has some big name fashion houses and local boutiques getting in on the couture face covering trend.

Michael Jackson was certainly one of the first celebrities to wear masks as a fashion statement for years.  Recently his former body guard said Jackson was always worried about a massive pandemic like the current coronavirus pandemic.

Well, now there’s no masking the truth. They are here to stay for quite some time and fashion designers across the world have been busy making designer face masks and selling them online.

“So fashion brands are most definitely propelling the rise of the designer mask and can you believe it, Vogue even issued an article saying these are the cloth masks you need to shop right now so they’re definitely having a moment,” said The Wordy Girl fashion blogger Maria Tettamanti.

Designs vary in color, pattern and material.

Several south Florida malls are giving them out free to customers who come without them.

Bal Harbour shops is handing out black and white masks with their logo.

The Miami Design District is also offering free masks.

Local based international model Karolina Kurkova has teamed up with Billie Blooms creating #masksforall, while supplies last.

Billie Blooms is also selling other masks like fun lips masks which are for sale at $28 dollars.

A portion of sales will be donated to Feeding America.

Alice and Olivia in the Miami Design District is donating one dollar of every sale of their masks that run from $10 to $12.95 each to No Kid Hungry.

“So there’s definitely that you know, have fun and spend some money but also giving back at the same time. There’s that element to it,” said Tettamanti.

Other designer stores in the Miami Design District such as Rag and Bone and Zadig and Voltaire are sporting their mask designs as well.

En Avance, a privately owned boutique in the district is selling designs by a local designer using lush fabrics by Liberty of London, for men women and children. Some come with matching dresses.

Owner Karen Quinones says another option is scarves. They’re a bit pricier from $50 dollars to $275 each, but are longer lasting.

“To have a beautiful scarf can do the same as a mask really, where you can wear it around your neck like I have it now tied, but then if you have to go into a bank and cover your face you can wrap it around your face or you can wear it as a bracelet,” Quinones said.

Her men’s masks, which are paisley prints, can also double as a pocket square.

Still, as high fashion as masks become. our fashion blogger sums it up best of all.

“I’m hoping this is a trend that goes away like neon clothing,” Tettamanti said laughing.

Lisa Petrillo

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