(NEW ORLEANS) — “We’re all in New Orleans, and here in New Orleans, we like to drink,” so says designer Ellen Macomber, who created a series of facemasks with one unique detail: a hole through which you can poke a straw.
Macomber tells Fast Company she made 40 masks in her first week, and at $30 apiece they sold out within 30 minutes.
“We were thinking of doing a lip appliqué, where it would flap open and close but you’d have to touch your face. I was like, ‘Well that won’t work because you have to touch your mask,” Macomber says. “That’s when I was like, ‘Dude, we just drill a little flap, an extra layer, and you angle the straw to get in.”
“So the hole is never completely open,” she explains, though she does admit her beautiful handiwork obviously isn’t up to hospital standards.
Still, “Anything is better than nothing,” Macomber allows.
Pivoting to masks are helping keep the designer afloat even before she came up with her special design; the drop in tourism to the Big Easy hit Macomber’s bottom line, so she dipped into scraps of fabric she had lying around to create her masks, which come in a variety of colorful styles, including ones with sequined fronts.
The website points out that during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, people slit holes in their masks through which they could smoke cigars or cigarettes.
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