Designer Mathieu Caron launches high-end masks inspired by Olympic skaters

Quebec designer Mathieu Caron, whose creations are among the most seen in the world, is launching a line of limited edition, high-end masks inspired by figure skating costumes he designed.

For years, Caron, who hails from Longueuil, has designed spectacular skating costumes seen by millions of viewers, including those of Olympic champion Tessa Virtue and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno.

“We took the same materials as the skaters' costumes, the same decorations, the same design, but we completely redid the form to make masks,' said Caron, who also makes dance clothes and other clothing equipment for sports and training.

PROCEEDS GO TO THE WHO

The eight luxury mask models are priced between $150 and $300.

“During this pandemic, my main goal was to make sure that the artistic side could come to help a little, raise funds to make a difference and at the same time make a collection item a little more glamorous than a ordinary mask,” said Caron, noting that all of the proceeds from mask sales will go to the World Health Organization.

Caron reportedly sold over 245 masks in three hours.

The masks especially gained popularity in Japan where the retail price ranges between $200 and $250. 

“I was surprised. I didn't think that in times of crisis like this, people had so much money to buy a mask, honestly,” he said. 

The mask craze quickly led to the hashtag #Showmask. 

ADEQUATE PROTECTION 

Although the mask designs follow health recommendations, Caron insists that they should not be considered medical equipment. 

“It protects very well,” said Caron. “In terms of fabrics, there are cotton and polyester fibers, so it follows the recommendations…. But is this something ‘medical’ ? Not at all. We would rather call it a fashion accessory, a collector's item.”

This article by La Presse Canadienne was first published on May 2, 2020.

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