Fashion forward thinkers accessorize with face masks


Photo by Grayson Salomon ’22

Custom face coverings have emerged to provide individuals with opportunity to express themselves during pandemic.

Grayson Salomon ’22, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Coronavirus pandemic has introduced a lot in our “new norm” of living. We are constantly washing our hands, avoiding touching our face, and socially distancing from friends and family. But, the most noticeable item that hopefully everyone is doing, is wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As masks become an essential item to our appearance and outfit, they have become a fashion staple. There is probably a mask with any design you can think of available for purchase somewhere. 

Kenneth Arteaga ’23 said his mask always has to go with his outfit.  “You gotta match the mask with the fit for the extra drip.”

For some people, they own more than five masks, like fashion enthusiast Jolie Verzosa ’22. She owns about seven to compliment her daily outfits.

Is the mask part of her outfit? “Always,” she said. “Is that even a question?”

To others, such as Rafa Cazorla ’21, the masks are just another necessity and not really thought of as a fashion accessory.

“I guess subconsciously I do use masks in outfits, but I never really thought about it because the new norms due to the pandemic don’t feel normal, even though things have been this way for a while now,” he said.

As the pandemic drags on, many companies have started producing masks for their consumers, including high end designer brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. In August, Burberry was the first designer brand to release its own high end masks that cost 90 British pounds or about $119. 

Following a similar path, Louis Vuitton is set to release their own set of luxury face shields retailing at an extremely high price of $961. 

Verzosa shared her opinions on these masks: “I understand the Burberry one, but the LV face shield? That makes no sense unless it’s made of plastic off of God’s water bottle! There is no need for it to be almost one thousand dollars.” 

Here at Riordan, there currently are no requirements for masks that are to be worn by students such as certain colored masks or Riordan branded masks. It is also unknown if Riordan will be selling the masks that were worn by graduating seniors of the Class of 2020 and faculty at graduation earlier this year in June.

“I think for right now, so long as you have a mask and it doesn’t have inappropriate words, phrases, or symbols, it should suffice” said Dean of Students, Juan Zumbado ’98.

As the virus continues to be the main focus of our lives, we will definitely be seeing many different kinds of masks as people continue to express themselves while they protect one another.