At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, designer Chelsea Klukas of Lumen Couture was preparing to make some basic cloth face masks for good friends. The Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance advises wearing homemade face coverings to prevent the spread of the virus.
Lumen Couture has a whole line of tech-enabled style, including dresses, hoodies, and costumes, and Klukas moved to masks when in-person occasions were being canceled and sales for other products were slumping. She chose to include the tech to make the face masks a bit more fun.
” I had the elements around, so I put together a fast DIY YouTube tutorial for how to make them,” Klukas said in an interview with The Verge. “That truly blew up, to the point where people were asking me for a ready-to-wear mask.”
The app provides a microphone input, and some users utilize it to show social distancing messages– like “stand back” or “6 feet”– that may be hard to hear somebody say with their mouth covered.
She added that she didnt wish to appear to be attempting to make money from the pandemic, so Lumen Couture contributed earnings from sales of the mask through June– about $5,000– to the World Health Organization COVID-19 relief fund.
Consumers who are purchasing the masks are an entirely various demographic from her typical clientele, Klukas adds, and shes seen more male consumers than she anticipated, the majority of whom would not explain themselves as fashionistas.
She includes that she believes having masks anybody can use will assist make them a statement closet item. “I think we are seeing the introduction of mask-wearing as a new kind of expression. Other designer are detecting this too, I think we will begin to see like the Rolex variation of masks.”
The LED Display mask has a thin LED matrix screen, and users can control what it shows– drawings, customized text, and even voice inputs– through an app. The fabric is breathable above and below the screen, and the tech elements can be eliminated so the mask can be cleaned, or used as a regular mask. A battery and charging cord are consisted of.
The masks have been her best-selling product without a doubt, but Klukas says she cant wait to get back to in-person programs, where people can touch and experience the LED-enhanced clothing in person. “Especially with some of the more adventurous pieces, people will turn up near see the magic, and its difficult to reveal that through video,” she said. “The individual using the style is part of the story, and it doesnt convey the story also on a flat screen.”
She includes that she thinks having masks anyone can wear will assist make them a declaration closet product. The material is breathable above and listed below the screen, and the tech parts can be removed so the mask can be cleaned, or used as a routine mask. The masks have actually been her best-selling product by far, but Klukas states she cant wait to get back to in-person shows, where individuals can touch and experience the LED-enhanced clothes in individual.
The trickiest part of developing clothes with LED lighting components is where and how to hide the batteries, Klukas said. “There are a couple of tricks where you can conceal in a dress with a fluffy skirt, for example,” she said, “but if you wish to do something sleek and skintight its more of an obstacle.”