INCOURT, Belgium – A Belgian company has identified a niche in the market to launch bespoke masks that allow people to “be themselves” despite having to cover their faces.
Annick De Geyter and Filip Bunkens, the brains behind the idea, explained their concept in an interview with EFE.
“We don’t want to lose our personality, our emotions, our authenticity. That is why we launched #beyourself. A movement that promotes being true to oneself in all circumstances. To achieve this, we developed a personalized facial mask,” the designers say.
Bunkens and De Geyter run an advertising and brand development company, but this is the first time they have embarked on the adventure of manufacturing a product.
“We help build brands and a reputation based on their strengths,” says Bunkens.
“Wearing a mask can pose problems,” Annick De Geyter adds. “We cannot recognize people, we cannot read the emotions on the face, it does not inspire much security.”
Their masks create realistic designs using photographs sent by clients.
“The important thing is to break anonymity, to be able to show emotions, to be yourself,” says Bunkens.
“We have not created the hashtag #beyourself (be yourself), it already existed,” says the creative.
The duo have produced a video to launch a “global campaign,” inviting people to champion their individuality, telling their stories on social networks.
This movement aims to end uniformity, to claim difference and originality.
“Everyone wants to be the same on Instagram, on Facebook, on social media. Everyone wants to show their best, but that’s not authentic,” says Filip Bunkens.
When clients send in their photos, the image is analyzed, the distance from the nose to the chin is measured, and the measurement for the mask is chosen.
“We are going to redesign the entire face in a vectorial way. It is not a printed photograph but a drawing (…) that allows for small accepted imperfections and is still very realistic,” adds De Geyter.
The image is then printed on a 100% polyester outer fabric and a cotton lining which makes it very light.
Once crafted, masks are steamed, sterilized and packed.
“It is a product of Belgian design and clothing. We are concerned about local production. The materials come from Italy and Spain,” he adds.