Protection in style: Chinese designer makes silk coronavirus masks

Reuters
Adorned with intricate designs of orchids, camellias and Chinese characters symbolizing good luck, the stylish silk masks have become coveted items during the coronavirus outbreak.
Reuters
Protection in style: Chinese designer makes silk coronavirus masks
Reuters

A worker embroiders a flower on silk for making a face mask designed by Zhou Li, at a studio in Beijing. The stylish silk masks created by the Chinese designer have become coveted items during the coronavirus pandemic.

Adorned with intricate designs of orchids, camellias and Chinese characters symbolizing good luck, the stylish silk masks created by Chinese fashion designer Zhou Li have become coveted items during the coronavirus outbreak.

Zhou, whose Dejin fashion brand recently exhibited at China Fashion Week, has been making embroidered silk masks with high N95 air filters since February, providing the fashion-conscious with protective options.

“When the situation turned very serious, we saw that many people needed to change their masks every four hours,” said Zhou, explaining how she came up with the idea for the reusable masks made from colorful Chinese silk.

Although China and other countries are lifting restrictions, Zhou expects masks will be a necessity for the foreseeable future.

She has adapted hers for summer, making them with a thinner silk that allows for better breathability in warmer weather.

The 55-year-old, who is director of design at the Shandong Sunbird Garment company, enjoys adding traditional Chinese motifs to her work.

A yellow mask displayed at a workshop in Beijing’s art district is decorated with golden orchids, representing a harmonious family with abundant wealth and many children.

Zhou is also designing personal protective suits, many also featuring flowers, after her friends asked for stylish outer wear to use during air travel.

The company makes around 600 masks a day. They sell online at 118 yuan (US$16) each.

Zhou plans to market them by inviting influencers to participate in livestreaming on e-commerce platforms, and hopes to expand sales in England and Italy.

“I hope people can wear my masks that protect them, make them look beautiful, bring them good luck and keep them safe,” she said.

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