Style-Savvy Designer Masks You’ll Actually Want to Wear

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Compass agent Annalee Aston looking super chic in her upcycled designer fabric mask

Earlier this month, I got invited to a “Masked Event” — an open house for Compass agent Annalee Aston’s new Preston Hollow listing. The hook? Attendees could enter to win a Hermès or Cartier fabric-inspired mask designed by home décor maven Bernadette Schaeffler. Her line: The Bernadette Schaeffler Collection masks.

As a former fashion writer, I admit I was intrigued. Annalee’s email had me at “Hermès-inspired.” Who needs designer shoes and handbags during a pandemic? Chic masks are what’s trending now.

Hermès? Yes, please. (@nhakhanh)

According to GQ, masks are here to stay. As demand grows, so does opportunity.

Just ask Chris Blackburn and Andrew Gilbert, owners of Texas Counter Fitters (purveyors of stone and granite countertops). The pair entered the mask-making business with a simple intention: wanting to help their Garland neighbors during a time of crisis. Their company, CVR Up, got its start donating face coverings to the Garland Fire Department and other local first responders.

The Garland Fire Department were CVR Up’s first beneficiaries. (cvrup.net)

Word spread quickly. In just a month and a half, website sales topped the 13,000 mark.

“Being in the countertop business, we understand production. We know how to streamline the process,” says Blackburn. “What we didn’t expect was how quickly the business was going to grow.”

New stock is posted as fast as it can be produced. (bernadetteschaeffler.com)

For Schaeffler, the goal was not to furlough any employees. Her burgeoning scarf-to-mask venture now supports three seamstresses.

“The Hermès styles sell out the minute I put them up on the website,” she says.

“It’s funny how a crisis can inspire creativity.”

We spotted Dallas designer Nha Khanh’s masks on Instagram (#designermasks). She recently teamed up with IG royalty Tina Craig (@bagsnob) to produce the crème de la crème of face coverings.

Craig donated designer face covers to medical workers and friends in need. (@bagsnob)

Each mask is made from a designer dust cover. Response was off the charts.

A recent Instagram post of Craig’s Chanel-logoed mask garnered a staggering 24,891 views.

“We’re getting orders from all over the country,” says Khanh.

Preppy-inspired styling with a vintage vibe. (preppymask.com)

Texas designer Suzy Smith uses upcycled Lilly Pulitzer fabrics for her newly-launched Preppy Masks. Pink Palms and Mosaic Dolphins are just two of her colorful designs.

Sartorial and logoed masks are made of fine Italian cotton. (hadleighs.com)

At the upper end of the spectrum, retail veteran Ed Shaikh offers masks made of 100 percent Italian cotton shirting to his style-savvy Hadleigh’s clientele.

A custom monogrammed version is available by special order. Shaikh also gifted one to every Hadleigh’s VIP .

“If you’re wearing a $10,000 suit and driving a Bentley, your mask should reflect the same level of style,” he says. “Plus, we’re making people smile again.”

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Elaine Raffel

Having left the corporate world to launch her own freelance creative business, Elaine Raffel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mega-talented Dallas homebuilding community. She credits her work with top fashion and design brands for teaching her one inarguably valuable lesson: that truly great work is always a collaboration.

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Comments

  1. Jim Callahan says

    This article was wonderful, and I’m glad for small businesses shifting gears and strategically moving into a new, and previously non-existent and different market. However, Shaikh’s comment takes him to the depths of irrelevancy and tone-deafness, joining Paris Hilton and the Kardashians! How did that slip through editing. I would have thought it would have never passed the “ooooh, I don’t think I would say that” test!

  2. Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says

    Everyone in my extended family have been wearing masks since mid-March. Furthermore, my dear sister-in-law lovingly sewed masks for everyone she knew, using her on hand surplus fabrics, and gifted me with two: The mask with the striped pattern makes me look thinner; however, the mask with the tie dyed print makes me look younger. And my sweet cousin said that I looked very smart in both masks, in every sense of the word!

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