Yikes! When Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel found out that people are proudly sporting luxury protective equipment, she couldn’t help but take to Twitter to go off.
On Tuesday, April 14, the Real Housewives of New York star tweeted, “Anyone wearing a high fashion logo embossed face mask, makes me sick. I think I’m dreaming this & that it’s not true…say it isn’t so…please.”
In a second tweet, she said, “Please say it isn’t real. I heard that @LouisVuitton & @Fendi have made them also. Tell me this is not true. Maybe I’m late…I’ve been in the bubble.”
Social media users had mixed responses to her tweet. Some agreed with her and are equally horrified. “Oh it’s true!” wrote one user. “One of my Facebook friends actually changed her profile pic to her wearing a Louis Vuitton mask! I am beside myself.”
Others are less bothered by it. “They could be cheap knockoffs,” wrote another. “They could be overpriced status symbols. Either way, it’s good to get people wearing masks for public safety, so I would encourage it.”
Whether they’re authentic designer masks or not, Frankel’s tweets beg the question: Is a global pandemic the right time to flash symbols of wealth?
According to social media and brand websites, it doesn’t look like luxury fashion labels are currently prioritizing the distribution of high-end face masks. But before the COVID-19 outbreak, fashion houses like Gucci and Off-White did sell masks as a fashion accessory. Fans of Billie Eilish might recall the time famously wore a Gucci mask to the 2020 Grammy Awards.
LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuttion and Fendi, is, however, producing free personal protective equipment for medical workers. It’s pledged to donate 40 million surgical masks from China for French health officials and in March, it also closed some of the facilities where luxury fragrances are produced to produce hand sanitizer.
The 49-year-old’s been extraordinarily active in fighting COVID-19 and helping medical workers on the front lines. In an interview with radio.com in March, the mom of one revealed that her disaster relief foundation, BStrong, was working tirelessly to produce 1 million face masks for healthcare workers.
Since then, she’s updated her 2.2 million Instagram followers about what BStrong has accomplished. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, April 14, Frankel wrote, “It is YOU who have made this disaster relief work possible delivering lifesaving protective equipment nationwide. We have distributed more than 17.5 million dollars in aid (200+ medical facilities, fire & police depts.)”
But her hard work doesn’t stop there. “BSTRONG will now prioritize the states affected by the catastrophic deadly tornadoes,” she wrote in the Instagram caption. “We are loading trucks of aid, protective equipment and sanitizing #coronakits to help those hammered by the tragic events of this horrible time.”
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