It seems so surreal that last year we were talking about masks as an emerging fad, and now it's considered a must-have along with its supplemental piece, the face shield. In the early days of the pandemic, many were criticised for treating personal protection equipment as an accessory and flaunting "luxury versions" of masks which were a scarcity then. But fast forward to September and it seems like we went full circle to where we were last year. Face shields and masks are now a must, but the stigma in buying luxury, fashionable ones have abated.
Shield and visor
In fact, Louis Vuitton has unveiled its first luxury face shield stamped with its signature monogram. That's right — move over handbags, a new status symbol is on its way. Aside from the obvious reason that it's from a luxury fashion house, this face shield is unlike any other for a reason. Its front shield is designed to flip up and double as a sun visor. If you're wondering how effective it can be as a shade against the sun given that the face shield itself is made of clear material, then you'll be glad to know that it's made with "photochromatic material" which will take a darker shade when in contact with the sun's rays. Sounds like a good deal to you? This face shield slash sun visor is reported to be priced at USD961, according to Vanity Fair. Although the exact price is yet to be confirmed by Louis Vuitton.
Face shield x sunglasses
The iconic French fashion isn't alone in trying to make luxury face shields a staple. Designer Joe Doucet has come up with a sleek face shield-sunglass hybrid. If you're on a budget but can still afford to splurge for a little luxury, this is the one for you. Christened Vue Shield, the brand positions it as a stylish upgrade to the "current, basic format" that are "uncomfortable and awkward". Instead of sharp edges, it has a soft shape that mimics the curvatures of a face.
This piece is now open for pre-order at just USD39. It's a step up from the less than a dollar face shield you can buy at the grocery but the price isn't as steep as the Louis Vuitton one. It seems like it could be a hit because on their Instagram posts alone, many from the world over have been inquiring on how to get one.
If you're not into the sun visor look, no worries, you have other luxury face shield options. Remember Sandy Cheeks from SpongeBob SquarePants? Well, you can now get her look thanks to Covidisor. This one isn't just a face shield, it's also an N95 respirator that, according to the brand, will give a "refreshed bubble of filtered air envelopes your mouth, nose, and eyes". It even made an appearance in NYFW and is seen on the head of fashion blogger Michelle Madonna.
Apparently, it's FaceID-friendly and is lightweight enough to be worn "like a hat". And oh yes, it has a "speaker" (a speaking diaphragm) as seen on this Bojack Horseman episode. A piece will set you back USD245 — a bit steep but still not as pricey as the Louis Vuitton one.
Still can't find the perfect design for you and want to try and make your own luxury face shield? There's a tutorial for that courtesy of Plastique Fantastique. iSphere, their open-source project, is free to be downloaded and improved by anyone. So if you're up for the challenge, you can DIY using whatever luxury material you'd like to incorporate.
Which of these luxury face shields would you wear?
(Cover photo from: @covidisor)