Fashion / Style

When Face Masks Become a Fashion Statement Rather Than a Political Tool — Houston Notables Step Up With Style

Trust Fady on Masks, This Tootsies Force Knows Sartorial Splendor

BY // 07.16.20

“The first thing people see when they look at you is your face, which today is a mask,” says Tootsies creative fashion director Fady Armanious, who boasts an arsenal of two dozen high-style face masks in his nod to COVID-19 precautions. “Your smile now becomes your mask.”

And with that, the pressure is on for fashionistas to step it up when it comes to donning a mask, something that Armanious says is THE accessory of 2020 much like fabulous handbags and shoes are perennial must-haves.

“You want it to work with your outfit. You want it to pop,” he notes.

This fashion tact could be the ultimate in making lemonade out of lemons as wearing masks becomes a mandate in many quarters.

Noted for his personal sartorial splendor, Armanious’ trove includes masks crafted from Hermès and Oscar de la Renta fabrics by RoKi design, which creates designer-fabric masks with matching headbands. Also filling his stash are Tootsies black and white logo masks from Accel Lifestyle; colorful masks from Furloughedfancies, Mickie Baldwin Ross and Christy Lynn — and a colorful commissioned piece from artist James Goldcrown.

“We want it to work for us. We want it to breathe. We want it washable and we want it easy to wear,” Armanious says of the must-have mask.

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Tootsies’ Fady Armanious
Tootsies’ Fady Armanious in a mask by RoKi Design, carried at the popular retailer. (Courtesy photo)

Beyond Armanious’ penchant for fashionable masks, PaperCity is also taking a look at creative mask wear across the landscape of Houston notables and in a one-off we include New York based writer, editor and author Derek Blasberg, who spent his birthday volunteering with the New York food bank. We also include anesthesiologist and Best Dressed Hall of Fame member Dr. Yvonne Cormier in her protective hospital gear, just for something more meaningful.

While there are numerous Houston artists creating masks, a personal favorite is that of Debra Linse, whose floral fabrics and careful design make hers a popular resource along with her floral headbands a la Frida Khalo.

Take a look at Houston’s stylish masked crusaders:

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