Three sisters from Letterkenny are covering a new section of the fashion world with their unique face masks.
Anna, Lisa and Molly Kennedy are the designers behind ‘Mask Your Face’ – a project that makes masks for both protection and for accessorising.
Their masks use coloured fabrics and pretty patterns to make a statement and to encourage people to wear them and flatten the curve. They are also functional and comfortable, as they are 3-layered and machine washable.
While government guidance does not say that masks are mandatory in public settings, the World Health Organization says that people should get into the habit of wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of Covid-19. As Ireland enters Phase 2 this week, we may see more and more retail workers and shoppers covering up.
“I think in the next couple of weeks more people will be wearing them, in some countries it’s mandatory, so if it comes in here a lot more people will be wearing them. It nearly is turning into a fashion statement,” Lisa said.
Molly adds: “When you’re shopping online now you see masks in the ‘New In’ section and models are wearing masks, it’s surreal.”
The Kennedys’ creations started as a summer project for family and friends, but they are now getting orders from all over Ireland.
With all summer plans cancelled, Anna (aged 21), Lisa (20) and Molly (18) are only too happy to spend their days working on their new brand. The design influence can be easily traced to their mother Eilish Kennedy, who is the creative director at McElhinneys and a renowned designer herself.
The girls all enjoy fashion, although it’s not a career path they are following. Anna is studying Business at LYIT, Lisa is studying Chemistry at UCD and Molly is in her Leaving Cert year with plans to go down the Science route.
Mask Your Face is also based on sustainable fashion. Rather than single-use packs of masks, these coverings have a climate-conscious element weaved in.
Anna explains: “We want to try and be sustainable. We are thinking of using old clothes and if someone has a fabric they love or a bed sheet we are going to set up a system where they can send it to us, we’ll make a mask and send it back. Obviously coronavirus is in the word of the public at the moment but climate change is still upon us.”
It’s ‘sew far sew good’ for the Kennedys as their brand grows with demand and they plan to continue as long as they can.