Designer coronavirus masks: the new fashion trend : The Indicator from Planet Money If the pandemic goes on much longer, or its aftereffects linger, face masks will inevitably become a fashion accessory.

Masks En Vogue

Masks En Vogue

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Lumen Couture / Chelsea Klukas
The new 6 ft. face mask from Lumen Couture, designed by Chelsea Klukas.
Lumen Couture / Chelsea Klukas

The coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten lives across the globe, making face masks if not mandatory, then advised. And that's a trend that could linger long after the pandemic ends and a vaccine is found. If that happens, what will become of the humble mask? Will more people start thinking of masks as just part of what they wear every day, part of their outfits? Will they become a kind of fashion accessory?

And if they do, would that be a business opportunity for companies and entrepreneurs in the worlds of fashion and design who can make these masks? This has happened in the past, in other parts of the world affected by epidemics, and it's already happening now in the U.S. and Europe. But there's more to this story than just business and fashion. Masks are having a bit of a cultural moment, too.

If you're interested, you can see Chelsea Klukas' masks and other designs here:

And to learn more about Valerie Steele's work as a fashion historian, check out:

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.