As most of us have discovered by now, glasses and masks don’t get on – wear your specs when you’re popping to the shops and you won’t be able to see what you came in for thanks to the instant fogging of the lenses.
Fortunately, thoughtful design is here to save us. ‘We wondered if we could use glasses frames to support and hold a mask instead of ears, to offer a more comfortable experience,’ says Lily Cole, founder of glasses company Wires Glasses. The masks they have created in collaboration with Vivienne Westwood adhere to the same ethical foundations as the glasses, focusing on functionality quickly followed by aesthetics and principles.
The designs, which hang from your glasses rather than your ears, decrease the likeliness of the glasses’ lenses fogging. Crafted from off-cut fabric from Vivienne Westwood, they are cheerful and chic, as well as comfortable. The Wires Glasses frames are formed from stainless steel wire, with lenses created using 3D printing to ensure the process is zero waste; it was natural to extend this philosophy to the masks themselves. ‘Turning designer off-cut fabric that would normally be discarded into something new felt like an exciting and appropriate avenue to explore.’
Each detail has been carefully considered: ‘After a few rounds of prototypes, we found a shape that we were happy with - including a reversible design, so each mask could have two sides to it,’ says Cole. To create the masks, they looked to support those out of work due to the pandemic. ‘In terms of principles, we then looked for how we could make these masks in a responsible way, and hired tailors who normally work in the theatre industry. In terms of material sourcing, we focused on buying organic cotton because it is listed as one of the best materials for handmade masks in multiple studies; and organic because its ecological footprint is lighter.’
All proceeds from the masks, available at maiyet.com (opens in new tab), will go to Cool Earth, Women’s Aid and The Black Curriculum.
Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.
On, the sportswear brand on a mission to change the way you move
Wallpaper* visits On’s new Zurich HQ to discover the story behind one of the world’s fastest-growing sportswear brands
By Jack Moss • Published
Brit Awards 2023 trophy design by Slawn highlights opportunity, gratitude and celebration
Chosen to design the Brit Awards 2023 trophy, Nigeria-born visual artist Slawn is making strides, and has collaborations with Virgil Abloh and Skepta under his belt
By Martha Elliott • Published
Design podcasts to discover: creative giants share smalltalk and big ideas
Listen to the best design podcasts by creators, curators and journalists shining a spotlight on different areas of the design practice
By Rosa Bertoli • Published
High-tech face mask from Will.i.am holds your earbuds and smells divine
Discover the limited-edition new Xuperfab Mask from Will.i.am and Honeywell’s Xupermask brand
By Hannah Silver • Published
Social distancing necklace warns when people get too close
As social distancing looks set to continue into the long-term, designers are coming up with novel ways to keep us safe
By Hannah Silver • Published