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Almost overnight, masks became an essential accessory to wear whenever you walk out the door and the way we perceive fashion might be changed forever.

After the virus reached San Diego County, rather than focusing on a new collection of clothing, winner of the 14th season of Project Runway Ashley Nell Tipton, started creating face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. She is using these masks as a canvas to share elements of the Latin community that give her comfort such as images of the well known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and card game “Loteria” in her designs. Ashley and her team have donated around 5,000 masks to healthcare workers as well.

Marisol Catchings of Azteca Negra, a line of culturally conscious jewelry, accessories and art, is currently focused on creating reusable masks with Afro Latin community inspired prints. She aims to use traditional patterns when designing masks and head wraps to make customers feel happy and proud of their culture, especially during this tough time. Azteca Negra is offering free masks for medical workers as well. Marisol launched the Healthcare & First Responder community campaign, with the help and support of her mother. They are donating free masks asking to only cover the $4 shipping cost. While these masks aren’t suitable for medical procedures, they’re made out of cotton and still prevent the spread of bacteria. The masks are currently sold out, but a restock update is expected on May 14th.

Another Latina artist, Susanna Gonzalez of Hola Chola, started creating multiple-wear face masks once it became clear that the virus isn’t going away anytime soon. These masks present La Virgen de Guadalupe printed on all sorts of textures, such as camouflage and a sky print, and fit in with the chola esthetic of the brand perfectly.

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Since there is no information on how much longer we’ll need to protect people around us by wearing a face mask, it might be time to invest in something you support.

Hola Chola https://www.instagram.com/p/CAFJc7YlcNY/

Azteca Negra https://www.aztecanegra.com/

Ashley Nell Nipton https://ashleynelltipton.com/collections/fashion-face-mask