The Business of Designer Face Masks
The scientific community can’t make its mind up on mask-wearing, but no one’s gonna wait. It’s an asymmetric investment to wear one; little downside, big potential upside, and it signals to others that you’re taking coronavirus seriously.
We’re used to messages inscribed on the fabric, and black masks were donned yesterday as markets closed for Memorial Day, but things are going further than that. The artistic face covers featured in Vogue magazine recently sold out in minutes. It seems the appeal to wear a mask is even greater if it makes a statement!
The fashion industry has cottoned onto this and is pouring talent into more creative designs. There’s a Louis Vuitton mask that costs $859. There’s an Adidas option, plus a Burberry mask, too. People will want to impress their friends with name-brand masks as society reopens, and investors want to ride that trend.
The big unknown is pricing as there’s already a shortage of masks for actual healthcare workers. It’s good for your brand to keep a social distance from this trade, it would be wrong to profit from the crisis. Those who can’t resist could donate a mask for each sold, but it’s still a gamble when most luxury shoppers are young and socially conscious.
The artisan entrepreneurs of Etsy, however, could get a pass. Etsy is an online platform for arts and craftspeople. Its share price has more than doubled as newly unemployed workers are forced to start their own businesses, and the Invstr community is only 5% short-sold on the name. Could this new trend give Etsy sellers an income source?