Protection in style: Chinese designer makes silk coronavirus masks

With infections rapidly approaching five million, deaths topping 320,000 and the global economy devastated, their is a dire need for protection to contain the spread of the virus. 

Let's take a look at a Chinese designer's innovative initiative to ensure protection while looking stylish:

Intricate design

Adorned with intricate designs of orchids, camellias and Chinese characters symbolising good luck, the stylish silk masks created by Chinese fashion designer Zhou Li have become coveted items during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Fusion of safety and style

Zhou, whose Dejin fashion brand recently exhibited at China Fashion Week, has been making embroidered silk masks equipped with high specification N95 air filters since February, providing the fashion-conscious with protective options.

The 55-year-old, who is director of design at Shandong Sunbird Garment company, enjoys adding traditional Chinese motifs to her work.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Necessity

Now, as China and other countries lift restrictions, Zhou expects masks will be a necessity for the foreseeable future. She has adapted hers for summer, making them with a thinner silk that allows for better breathability in warmer weather.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Symbolic

A yellow mask displayed at a workshop in Beijing's art district is decorated with golden orchids, representing a harmonious family with abundant wealth and many children.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Personal protective suits

Zhou is also designing personal protective suits, many also featuring flowers, after her friends asked for stylish outer wear to use during air travel.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Hopeful for expansion

The company can make around 600 masks a day, and sells them online at 118 yuan a piece. Zhou plans to market them by inviting influencers to participate in live-streaming on e-commerce platforms, and hopes to expand sales in England and Italy.

(Photograph:Reuters)