COLUMBUS (WCMH) — When it comes to fashion, style and function don’t normally go together. But that is exactly what one Columbus designer is trying to do.
“I was watching the news and I saw masks were all sold out,” Gerardo Encinas said.
The Columbus-based designer usually creates clothing lines of gowns, and most recently was one of 10 designers showcased at Fashion Week Columbus. Now, he’s going from high fashion to high function sewing potentially life-saving face masks with a flair for fashion.
“They are double-lined, reversible and you can wash them,” Encinas said.
It all started when he made his own face mask and posted it on his popular Instagram page last week.
“I woke up to like 1,000 DM’s,” Encinas said. “Last weekend we sold almost 600.”
His mask designs range from Luis Vutton to Mickey Mouse and even Ohio State. To cover costs for materials and time, he’s charging $20 per mask, and for every one sold, he’s donating one to those in need.
“I have to be very careful,” he said. “Everything has to be clean and I wear gloves.”
Encinas is just one designer joining forces with the Columbus Fashion Council, who are working on donating at least 5,000 masks for health care workers and those who need them.
In addition to local designers donating masks, the Columbus Fashion Council is securing a certified manufacturing partner overseas to make more masks. Columbus has the third largest number of resident fashion designers in the nation, and the nonprofit is asking them to step up and help make and donate masks.
As for Encinas, he just hopes his fun masks bring a much needed smile to people’s faces, even if you can’t see them.
“I just had a lot of free time and I thought I had to do something,” Encinas said.
To order one of Encinas’ masks, you can contact him through Instagram at @EncinasDesigns.
To donate masks or learn about the Columbus Fashion Councils effort to help, head to https://www.columbusfashioncouncil.org/covid19-response.