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Face Masks: The Hottest New Fashion Accessory

“I think this is absolutely a fashion trend,” said Ashley Nell Tipton

NBCUniversal, Inc.

It began out of necessity but now face masks are becoming trendy and stylish.

Sure, some people still wear the throw-away masks handed out in hospitals, but more people are reaching out to online retailers and designers looking for something a bit more eye-catching.

“I think this is absolutely a fashion trend,” said Ashley Nell Tipton. 

Tipton knows a lot about fashion. She won season 14 of Project Runway and now has a design studio in Hillcrest.

The studio is now cranking out face masks by the hundreds.

“Every week we’re having things sell out and then we’re manufacturing as fast as we can to be able to ship out orders as fast as possible,” said Tipton, who was wearing a colorful mask she created honoring her Hispanic culture. “I wanted to create something fun that would give you pride when you wear it, so that’s where the Frida Kahlo face masks also come into play.”

The Kahlo masks have sold out several times on the website, where there are several designs, including French Bulldogs, camouflage, polka-dots, and bright florals.

Masks made by Ashley Nell Tipton

Tipton said she believes lots of people do what she does every morning, match one of her face masks to her outfit.

“We need more than one or two because you need to trade them out, you need to wash them out, stay clean, so this is something that’s gonna be an essential use in our everyday lives," she said.

Some people don’t need designers. Ayumi Henderson’s mother fashioned a neon orange mask out of an old t-shirt.  The loops around her ears were made up of pieces of pantyhose.

Elyse Charlesworth went grocery shopping in a pretty pink floral mask, created by her mother-in-law out of fabric her grandmother had.

“It’s pretty awesome,” she told NBC 7.

Many people said masks are going to be around for several more months until the coronavirus is no longer a threat, so they might as well have fun with it.

“I think more people are making masks as fashion statements,” said Neda Rayatparvar, who wore a mask with smiley faces on it. “It’s about what we can do right now to make the best out of the situation.”

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