Sometimes I still forget, and swipe on lipstick as I’m getting ready to leave the house, only to cover up half of my face with a face mask before I head out the door.
Now instead of red lipstick, it’s my bright red sateen Evil Kitty face mask that people compliment when I pass by on the street. The cotton fabric is reminiscent of a lightweight denim with a little bit of shine. It’s a statement mask for sure, and a fashionable alternative to standard surgical masks. When remembering to wear a mask everywhere often feels like a chore, it’s nice to have something bright and playful to accessorize my outfit.
Evil Kitty Reusable Face Mask
The shape of the mask comfortably covers my nose and doesn’t make my face look too wide, while the soft and lightweight fabric is breathable even on a hot summer day. There’s even a pocket to insert a surgical mask or filter for extra protection if you wish. Perhaps most importantly, the ear loops are made of soft elastic and do not hurt my ears even after hours of wear. I can barely feel them.
Designer Lidia Wachowska has several different masks available on Etsy including a black and white stripe heart pattern and a punky red one striped one with black faux leather grommets. The bestsellers are decorated with hand cut and glued Evil Kitty appliqués.
Wachowska first founded her Evil Kitty brand based on an animated character she created for a class project while attending The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She’d been hoping to restart her fashion label for the past several years while working full-time at United Airlines but never found the time. When shelter-in-place orders hit Chicago in mid-March, Wachowska immediately saw the need for durable, reusable face masks, so she dusted off her industrial sewing machine and got to work. Fabric stores were closed at the time, so she utilized some of her leftover supplies and what she could find in online stores. Ear loop elastics were the most difficult component to source but she has a great supplier now and hasn’t had to set foot in a brick-and-mortar fabric store yet.
“The extra time off, shelter-in-place order and the instant demand for my masks became a perfect seedbed for the resurgence of my label,” Wachowska says. “It’s hard to believe that a global pandemic became a catalyst to something positive in my life, but that is exactly what happened.”
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