Fashion | April 9th, 2020
Three Black Designers Creating Masks to Combat COVID-19
By: Ezekiel Hobbs
On April 3, President Donald Trump announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that people should wear masks fabric that covers their face when out in public. These three inventive Florida fashion designers quickly catered to the nation’s needs.
They’ve not only sewn masks for themselves and their loved ones but have created fashionable face masks for essential employees to buy. However, the face masks are not limited to the country’s frontline workers, anyone can purchase one. Some of these designers are even starting the initiative of delivering masks to citizens who are local to their place of business.
While being a student at Tallahassee Community College (TCC), 19-year-old Carl Smart started his custom design business six months ago.
He gained his love for fashion from his mom. She inspired him and passed down her legacy of creativity to him and his siblings. At the beginning of the pandemic, Smart states how he was only making the creative face masks for himself. Eventually, the masks gained popularity from his followers on Instagram.
“I didn’t expect for people to gravitate towards them,” Smart said. “I started off making these unique face masks for myself.”
As of today, Smart has made and sold over 100 masks and expects his numbers to increase.
He believes the pandemic has helped his business reach a new level of innovation.
“The coronavirus has affected my business from generally being a custom denim page to a new culture of strictly designer face masks pushing my creativity,” Smart said.
You can find Smart’s unique face mask for purchase through his business page on Instagram @Richxdenims.
Jonis Green is a 27-year-old fashion designer. While living in Tallahassee, Green’s business has become his pride and joy.
Green started his business back in 2016 and began making face masks during this pandemic from a special request he had from someone very close to him. Green explains how his mentor, who he also considers his second mother, feared she might catch the coronavirus. She felt as though Green would be the perfect person to go to for a specialized face mask.
“I never intended on making face masks,” Green said. “However, it was not until my mentor, Amie Nunn, asked me if I could make some face masks for her and her daughter.”
He began researching and watching tutorials online on how to make face masks that are effective and protect people from the virus as much as possible.
“All of my masks are made 100% cotton and have fleece and fusible fabric sewed within the masks for additional protection for any outside germs,” Green explains.
All of Green’s masks have sold out within the first week. However, he’s currently making more for the next set of orders.
For rates and inquiries, customers can find their face masks on his Instagram page @I.norr.
Located in Miami, 22-year-old Dominique Griffin shares her various face masks designs through her Instagram @Callher.domo.
Griffin is on a serious mission to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.
“I decided to make face masks for my family and friends after the CDC stated that certain areas such as Miami Beach are now mandatory people to wear a mask or something that covers your nose and mouth while being out,” Griffin says.
The young designer then goes on to mention how she began receiving orders and questions from people of all ages.
Initially, during the pandemic, Griffin was selling swimwear from her new collection B360, but that took a turn when locations such as the beach were shut down by the government due to the COVID-19 outbreak
“I figured that many people wouldn’t be buying my swimsuits at the moment and took a break on pushing out my new inventory,” Griffin said.
While still being in business Griffin wants customers to know that her masks are 100 percent cotton and within each mask, there’s a filter to protect people from germs within the air. The masks are 100 percent washable and reusable.