We were inspired to make masks after an interview CNN International did with a doctor in Hong Kong back at the end of February. They were asking him what steps they took to the contain COVID-19 outbreak so successfully…especially in such a densely populated region. He emphasized that everyone should wear a mask. It made sense to us, and we set out to work on proto-types for Over & Over.
We wanted to make sure it was comfortable, so we put a back-elastic band which could adjust the tension on the straps by moving it up to loosen or down to the nape of your neck to tighten the fit. No pulling on your ears here! A nurse in California told us, “I’d like to order…more, it is so comfortable with the elastic. This feels so fabulous…”. She ended up purchasing 5 styles that she rotates thru each week and wears over her N-95 mask.
Most important was that it felt good on and looked beautiful. We used our amazing vintage silk kimono fabrics and backed them with the softest silk. We preshrunk the fabric and tested for machine wash care. Our design also converts to a sleep mask, so we can dream of the day we can safely travel again.
NPR had a podcast called Masks en Vogue. They talked with Valerie Steele, a fashion historian at FIT in NY, about the cultural movement of masks. She discussed the history of the mask and how likely it will become a new fashion accessory, much like it has already in Asian countries over the years. We couldn’t agree with her more.
Because of the demand for masks we have been able to keep our local independent sewing contractors busy with work. Our proceeds from the sale of each mask goes to Food Lifeline to help the community as we all do our part to get through this together.