The RealReal, New York State And Fashion Designers Are Fighting The Covid-19 Pandemic Creatively With New Mask Campaign

New York’s fashion community is putting its fabric where its mouth is and designing masks in the hope that the stylized versions will encourage others to cover up. New York State and The RealReal enlisted dozens of designers for a five-week campaign called Mask Up, which will benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and highlight the importance of mask-wearing to stop the spread of the disease.

“Mask Up” will raise money for communities impacted by COVID-19 by donating profits from the sale of masks to Feeding America, Nurse Heroes and the New York COVID Relief Fund.

New masks will drop on The RealReal on Mondays, when each week’s theme will be inspired by New York’s core values: tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving, with prices ranging from $20 for Public School’s New York Tough design, to $50 for Nili Lotan’s exclusive floral mask. There’s a set of three mask in color prints from Tanya Taylor for $45, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s pink number, $30, and Mara Hoffman’s bold red mask, $28.

Other brands and designers taking part in the campaign include 4SDESIGNS, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Chromat, Collina Strada, Jonathan Cohen, KES, Mi Jong Lee, Michael Kors, Noah, Prabal Gurung, Rag & Bone, Romeo Hunte, Ryan Roche, Sandy Liang, Studio 189, Thom Browne, Victor Glemaud and Zero + Maria Cornejo.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and his daughter Maria Kennedy Cuomo today announced the partnership during the Governor’s daily COVID-19 briefing. Calling the Federal government’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, “See no COVID, Hear no COVID, Speak no COVID,” Cuomo said, “We have to get a vaccine, but it could be one year. You’re talking about vaccinating 330 million people –double the number of people tested.

“We have evidence and we have facts and we know people will do it,” the governor said referring to mask-wearing. “Why would they assume we can’t control the virus. We know people will join the effort. We know they will do the right thing, because we’re doing it here in New York.”

New York was the first state in the country to mandate the wearing of masks, and Governor Cuomo attributed to this fact the reduction in cases since the start of the pandemic. “New Yorkers are the example,” he said. “We have 99% compliance. Why are 99% doing it? Because they’re smart and they care about each other and they care about themselves. Get this political garbage out of the way and lead forward.”

“The top designers donating their designs, and God bless them,” the Governor said. “They want to help, and everyone can use their talent in ways that they can help best. Public School, a very cool designer, released their New York Tough mask today. I already have one. Julie [Wainwright, chief executive officer of The RealReal,] has put this all together, has done a great great job.”

The limited-edition “New York Tough” mask was designed Public School founders and New York City natives Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. The label is known for its street-savvy clothing inspired by the designers’ experiences growing up in public schools.

Chow and Osborne have ambitious sustainability plans to make most of their products from surplus, vintage or recycled materials. “We’re products of New York and represent the resilience and toughness of that New York spirit so it’s only right that we participated in this campaign,” said the co-creative directors and cofounders. “We wanted to design something that represented the power of the people coming together to fight for a common cause. New Yorkers have always had each other’s backs and that hasn’t changed for this pandemic.”

Lotan said, “Wearing a mask is a sign of respect and love for my city and my community. The mask is a sign of hope, it communicates a message to those around us that we miss the vibrant culture and lifestyle of this city and are willing to do what it takes to get it back in full bloom.”

For Hoffman, wearing a mask is important for safety. “Not just for me, but for those that are most vulnerable. It is in the collective that we can overcome this pandemic and I take my role as an individual seriously in this moment.”

“At a time when so many are looking for a way to make a difference, wearing a mask has the power to save lives, and is a statement about who you are,” Mariah Kennedy Cuomo said. “The Mask Up campaign unites incredible designers who are deeply connected to New York, the fashion capital of our country. The RealReal and New York State are partnering to harness the power of the fashion community to convey a very simple, but critically important message: Mask Up. Stop the Spread. Save Lives! Our country is still battling COVID-19, and this campaign demonstrates that we can find fun, creative ways to make an impact.”

“By combining the power of the fashion community’s influence with the leadership of Governor Cuomo and Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, we can be a collective force for good,” said Julie Wainwright, founder and CEO of The RealReal. “It’s our privilege to bring together such a diverse and talented group of New Yorkers to inspire people to wear a mask, while supporting the work of our charitable partners doing so much for communities impacted by COVID.”

“This is a win win across the board,” Cuomo said. “It’s going to keep masks in the spotlight as we’re kicking off a Mask Up challenge on Instagram.”

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