Picture it: Miami 2020. The world is battling a global pandemic, and facemasks are the latest fashion trend. You wouldn't want to be caught dead without one. This new style is worn from above the nose to below the chin. Caught wearing a facemask underneath the nose? That faux pas results in your face plastered all over Page Six with the word "dunce" on your forehead.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of facemasks or facial coverings to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. State and local officials have also made face coverings a requirement. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez recently amended his coronavirus emergency order, declaring that (with very few exceptions) everyone must wear a mask or facial covering when in public.
Wear the damn mask, people!
If you're having a hard time tracking down the latest fashion trend, don't worry — local crafters and designers have got you covered. (Bear in mind that you also help out the local economy when you shop local.) Here are eight Miami brands and artists who want to help you help us all stay healthy.
Kalani & Wolf
The local design team behind the Kalani & Wolf brand has shifted from making dreamy kimonos out of sustainable materials to making facemasks from recycled military uniforms. Each cover is handmade in Miami, and a portion of the sales goes toward care packages for veterans. (You also have the option of gifting a mask to a veteran.) Mask options include the U.S. Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines. Kalani & Wolf also sell reusable Pellon filters that you can wash and reuse for up to 30 days. Masks are priced at $13 plus shipping and are available via kalaniandwolf.com.
Jewelry designer Kathe Cuervo's medium of choice is usually silver or gold. But the local artisan carries a variety of trinkets at her Buena Vista store, including facemasks by Melissa Reyes, a fellow local artist and a personal friend of Cuervo's. Before partnering with Cuervo to sell her handmade masks, Reyes donated them to hospital workers and older adults in her community. The masks are made from denim, canvas, and cotton and come in a variety of colors and sizes — including child-size. The CDC doesn't advise that kids under two years old wear facemasks, but if you've got one three or older, Cuervo has you, well, covered. Masks are priced at $12 to $25 and are available at Kathe Cuervo, NE 50th Ter., Miami. Tue.-Sat. 1-7 p.m., Sun. 1-6 p.m.
Pin Pan Pun
Pin Pan Pun started as a collection of humorous Cubanisms with delightful visuals and English explanations, but artist Denise Miqueli always intended to expand the brand. We knew it was only a matter of time before the person who followed up with Pin Pan Pun Volume Two and a Pin Pan Pun coloring book would come forth with Pin Pan Pun masks. Using some of her familiar characters and a well-known Cubanism, Miqueli has designed "Do It for Abuela" and "Arroz con Mango" facemasks. All proceeds from the Pin Pan Pun masks are being donated to It's All Love Miami, a group dedicated to helping the local homeless community. Masks are priced at $12.95 plus shipping and are available via pinpanpun.co.
Lotus House x Ahol Sniffs Glue
Local artist David Anasagasti (AKA Ahol Sniffs Glue) has had a relationship with the Lotus House women's shelter for years, so it came as no surprise when the two partnered to release a limited-edition collaboration. The "We Are One" facemasks feature Anasagasti's signature droopy eye in heart shapes on pink fabric. Proceeds benefit Lotus House's COVID-19 relief efforts. Masks are priced at $16.05 including shipping and are available via lotushouse.org.
Martha of Miami
At the outset of the global pandemic, designer Martha Valdes of Martha of Miami began selling face coverings as part of a buy-one, donate-one, in which each purchase would be matched by a cloth covering donated to a local hospital. After donating 10,000 masks in less than two months, Valdes shifted her strategy while continuing to give back. Now, for every mask sold, Valdes will donate $2 to the Jackson Health Foundations Miracle Fund. Additionally, because facemasks aren't going anywhere anytime soon, Valdes has released eight new designs. Masks and facial coverings are priced at $10 and $14, respectively (plus shipping), and are available via marthaofmiami.com.
Create Out of Love
Known for its elevated streetwear designs, the Create Out of Love (COOL) clothing brand was born from the creators of the COOL Creative Inc. digital media agency. The Shop COOL team is made up of classically trained artists, so each design is like a work of art. COOL offers three options: a fabric mask with adjustable straps, a fabric mask with a printed design and standard elastic straps, and a leather mask. All are washable and reusable. Masks are priced at $15 to $29 (including shipping) and are available via shopcoolcreative.com.
The first section of the Underline, Miami's ten-mile linear park beneath the Metrorail, is slated to open later this year. It's being designed and constructed in phases, and the first phase, dubbed the Brickell Backyard, is nearing completion. But before you take a stroll, be sure to visit the Underline's website, where the nonprofit's online shop has made facemasks available for purchase. The design features all the outdoorsy things you'll be able to enjoy once the park opens to the public, like biking, walking your dog, or just enjoying nature. Masks are priced at $20 plus shipping and are available via theunderline.org.
Last month, artist Marco Caridad partnered with fashion designer Karina Gómez-Herrera to sell facemasks to raise funds for Designers and Creative Teams Against Domestic Violence. Caridad, who was born in Venezuela but lives in Miami, is a working artist who has exhibited throughout Latin America and South Florida. The artist created 15 distinct mini works of art that are printed on these special-edition masks. Masks are priced at $25 plus shipping and are available via marcocaridad.com.
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