For some time now, nothing has shocked us more than stepping out for an essential trip and seeing people not wearing masks. This, of course, is because wearing them shows consideration for the health of others during the coronavirus crisis, but also because there’s been so many great looking ones to choose from. Local designers and home-sewers alike have been crafting face covers for themselves, for friends, for essential health workers and for sale to the public, and they’ve all been reasonably priced too (anywhere from $5-$25, usually). Now that Mayor Garcetti has declared masks mandatory inside businesses and outdoors across the county, you probably find yourself looking for more interesting ones. Like sunglasses, they are like frames for your face, and like T-shirts they can make a statement if you choose. And they are sadly, going to be necessary for the foreseeable future, so you might as well select some that reflect your style. Here are a few of our favorites.
Rocks Off, the cool concert promotion company known for their musical cruise series’ and Rock & Roll Walking Tours out of New York, have partnered with Threadless to donate $3 per mask sale from their site to Medshare — a nonprofit that recovers surplus medical supplies and equipment from U.S. hospitals and manufacturers, and redistributes them to needy facilities in developing countries. Order their cheeky (mouthy?) prints to make a statement and a difference. rocksoff.threadless.com
Known around L.A. as a performer, Satanica Batcakes has taken her eye for edgy and eccentric fashion and created a hot accessories line. Before COVID, her wares were often seen at local bazaars and craft fairs but these days she’s doing steady biz online. Featuring lace, brocades and prints with skulls and bats, these are the masks for the macabre and goth gals in your life. etsy.com/shop/BatcakesCouture
Y-Que Trading Post, the long-running pop culture-crazed boutique in Los Feliz best known for its creative and campy T-shirt designs, now has some of the most creative and campy masks for sale. We are especially in love with The Boy in the Plastic Bubble print, but there’s a lot more to choose from here and they can even print custom designs. yque.com
Like many, L.A.-based entrepreneur Elaine Tran of Dippin’ Daisy’s has turned her local swimwear factory into a mask manufacturer, and is now producing them out of the same colorful fabrics that have made her bikini bottom and tops so popular. She’s also donating to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight. With beaches opening up again, her dynamic designs just might make the “3-piece” a thing. Don’t forget the sunscreen! dippindaisysswimwear.com
Jimmy Gorecki’s Standard Issue is a fave with the trendy sweats and tees crowd and now the pro skater is making masks too. His run comes via repurposed T-shirt materials and they feature slots for disposable filters inside. Buy 3-packs on his site or get them free with any $100 purchase. S.I. donates to a local medical facilities, too. standardissuetees.com
Long-running Silver Lake boutique Matrushka always carries a fancy frock or two we just gotta have, especially now that they’re using the funky fabric from their scraps to make matching masks. Plus, they send one mask to a frontline worker with each three purchased. matrushka.com
California brand BornxRaised has some cool mask designs that help you show your L.A. pride while staying protected, with the brand’s logo in old English lettering and Mexican flag inspired colors. With part of their proceeds donated to No Kid Hungry (the organization working to end child hunger) Angelenos can feel good while facing the new reality of big city life. bornxraised.com
If you miss American Apparel you’re not alone. Founder Dov Charney has been back on the rise basically re-inventing his basics brand as Los Angeles Apparel, selling AA favorites and now facemasks too. Their 3-Pack is made of 100 percent cotton and with adjustable nose that you can form to your face. They have kid’s masks in black, grey and blue, plus fun prints (leopard and plaid) for adults. All public purchases fund donations to essential workers and according to the website, provide “living wages and support vertically integrated U.S. manufacturing.” losangelesapparel.net/
Look for an all new Facemask Selfie Slideshow (Part 2) next week. Part 1 here.
Correction: The post previously misstated Matrushka’s donation policy.