After eight long weeks of lockdown, as of May 11, restrictions have finally started to lift in France. We’re allowed to go out without an attestation de déplacement (a permission slip) as long as we are under 100km (62 miles) from our homes and public gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, but face masks are compulsory in certain places including on public transport, in schools, some shops, and even at my hairdresser’s! So if we have to wear masks, why not have some fun with it?
French designers have started creating face masks to fight shortages and help essential workers get the protective gear they need, as well as keep their businesses afloat during this difficult time. So not only can you get your hands on a fashionable face mask made in France, you can also help those in need and support local small businesses at the same time. Here are some of my favorite French designers injecting some joy into the wearing of face masks.
Orphée Studio’s Opération Bal Masquéis a vente solidaire where for every mask bought, they will donate one to a non-profit in need via the À Vos Masques solidarity platform. Lead by creative director Colombine Jubert, their pleated masks are made in Paris using upcycled fabrics and come in lots of fun colors, patterns, and prints—all with contrasting edges. They consist of three layers, have adjustable elastic straps, and are machine washable and re-usable. Better still, Orphée Studio ships worldwide.
Les Flâneuses is a female-led slow fashion brand based in the south of France. Designer Aurélie Wenkel cuts, irons, and sews every mask herself. She makes both pleated and curved masks out of 100% vintage dead stock cotton, with a filter pocket and either salvaged lace ties or elastic straps. If you’re a vintage lover, this is the brand for you! Aurélie’s masks are machine washable, iron safe, and re-usable. For every mask purchased, several masks are donated to essential workers in her local community. Worldwide shipping is available.
Fans of popular Paris design store, Jamini, will be pleased to hear they are now making masks. Made out of their beautiful signature Indian prints, their pleated masks have two layers of 150gm 100% cotton printed fabric, and come with elastic. Their masks follow the the French AFNOR guide and are washable and reusable. Jamini ships worldwide.
Koshka Mashka is a Paris-based fashion brand that is now creating masks from lovely, soft fabrics. Designer Mari Samvelyan makes curved masks that are 100% cotton, reversible, have lace ties, and come in a range of chic colors and patterns. Koshka Mashka masks are washable and reusable and the brand ships worldwide.
Ilaria Giovanzana, the woman behind Atelier Nucci, is an Italian designer based in Montmartre, Paris. She is now creating vibrant pleated masks featuring a variety of patterns and prints. Her masks are 100% cotton, come with elastic or lace ties, and are washable and re-usable.
- Read about the first thing Parisians will do now the lockdown is over.
- Want to help? Find out how.
- Check out our favorite French fashion brands.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.