Japan tackles coronavirus in luxurious style with €8,000 masks

Retailer aims to cheer people up and drive sales in fashion industry hit by pandemic

The masks are embellished with diamonds and crystal. Photograph: Reuters

The masks are embellished with diamonds and crystal. Photograph: Reuters

 

Japanese trend-setters can now protect against the coronavirus in luxurious style with opulent masks adorned with diamonds and pearls for a cool million yen (€8,000) each.

Cox company’s mask.com chain began selling the hand-made masks last week, with the aim of cheering up people and spurring sales in a fashion industry depressed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The diamond masks are embellished with a 0.7 carat diamond and more than 300 pieces of Swarovski crystal, while the pearl masks contain some 330 Japanese Akoya pearls.

“Everyone is feeling down because of the coronavirus and it would be great if they could feel better by looking at one of these glittering masks,” said Azusa Kajitaka, a mask concierge at the company’s store near Tokyo station.

“The jewellery and fabric industries have also been in a slump because of the coronavirus and so we did this as part of a project to help revitalise Japan,” she added.

Cox, part of retailing group Aeon, has opened mask.com online and in six physical locations since September, offering more than 200 types of masks starting at 500 yen.

Would it suit you?

Some visitors to the store on Wednesday were concerned the million-yen masks might be out of their league.

“If I wear one of these face masks, I have to wear suitable fashion to match it. So I think it’s a bit embarrassing [to dress up],” said 66-year-old Mitsue Kaneko.

The Japanese masks are still far from the world’s most expensive. That honour belongs to a €1.26 million mask made with 250g of 18 karat gold designed by Israeli jeweller Yvel. – Reuters