UPDATED: Feb. 11, 2021 —
In the beginning of the pandemic it was unclear if all Americans needed to wear face masks in public, but it became crystal clear when the Centers for Disease Control Prevention announced that this to be the case…point, blank period.
Masks save lives and if you’re attending large gatherings—whether at a park or at a protest rally, it is imperative that you cover-up. Not to mention, as the Washington Post reported, you can’t walk into most grocery stores, pharmacies, or essential business without a mask covering your nose and mouth.
Have you wondered where to buy a high-quality breathable face mask that reflects your personality or personal style? Or maybe you’re interested in buying face masks from black-owned businesses? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a list of the 10 best—and most stylish—face masks made by Black-owned businesses and designers that will protect you and your family. Just don’t forget to throw them in the washing machine before you use them.
***Editor’s Note: The CDC has asked that we not purchase medical face masks because our health care workers who are risking their lives to save us need them first. Beware of online sellers claiming to have surgical masks.
1. Noel. BSource:viaInstagram
These sistas believe that “our face protection proves that you can still be fashionable” and we couldn’t agree more. Trust: from colorful designs to being bedazzled-out, Noel. B meets all of her customers where they are, especially when it comes to price.
2. Samaria Leah
LL Cool J’s daughter, denim designer Samaria Leah is taking her love of fabric and sewing to make a difference. The FIT graduate makes her own fabulous masks ($25) out of 100% denim in various sizes. Plus, a portion of the proceeds goes toward COVID-19 relief.
3. Damn Air Fresh
Damn Air Freshner has been selling biodegradable, oil-based air freshners since 1998. But now they are doing their part to create custom protective masks that are affordable and stylist. We simply love these affordable masks—and their wide variety of cute designs that speak to our comic book nerd and our inner sweet tooth. Be sure to also check out their HBCU other and college sport-themed masks.
4. Wrapped by Nellz
Wrapped by Neliz, known for her stylish head wraps, is now creating wrap and mask sets. We adore this idea of still being able to SLAY in the pandemic, which is why this animal print wrap and mask set ($30) is the business.
5. House Of Nambili
House of Nambili is a Brooklyn-Based fashion accessories store that uses beautiful ethnographic textiles from North West Africa and beyond. Their masks are 100% cotton, machine washable, breathable, and vibrantly beautiful, all while giving us a taste of the motherland. Even better? They are affordable, with most masks costing $15 or less.
6. CR CLOTHING Co.
CR Clothing Co. (CRCCo.), is a made-to-order clothing brand founded by Atlanta-based designer Charla Ruschelle. Her affordable and fashion-forward masks ($15) are hand-made and feature a pocket where you can insert a filter for added protection. These masks tend to sell out quickly so be sure to grab one while supplies last.
7. Aloha Glamour
Aloha Glamour is a ready-to-wear clothing boutique that focuses on African and Hawaiian prints. Based in Gulfport, Mississippi, Aloha Glamour’s physical location had to shut down due to COVID-19, but this has not stopped it’s owner, Alexis W. Williams, from pivoting to mask-making, and adopting a buy one, give one model that provides free masks to essential workers. Featured on Forbes, Black Enterprise, Travel Noire, and the Black News Channel, to name a few, this Mississippi-based clothing boutique is worth checking out not only for their face masks, but for self-described Afro-Waiian fashion aesthetic.
8. CAAB Customs
If personalized face masks are your thing, you make want to check out CAAB Customs. Founded in 2016, this online boutique specializes in creating custom pieces that let you express your true self. With CAAB Customs, now you can still be sassy while wearing a face mask. You can pick from a selection of witty phrases or customize a mask with one of your own.
9. Printed Pattern People
Printed Pattern People features clothing and fashion accessories designed by Brooklyn-based designer Shadé Akanbi. Her designs feature textiles sourced from around the world that are rich in vibrant colors, patterns, and textures. Plus, Akanbi’s masks are reversible and contain interior filer pockets.
To put it simply, these masks are so sleek, so stylish, so us!