What are Cambridge Masks Doing in a London School of Fashion Collection?
Joel Yip, a BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring Final Year Student is here to tell you.
At the London School of Fashion, students must learn how to use the subject of fashion, together with its industrial importance, to shape lives and drive economic and social transformation. Joel Yip is a final year undergraduate student focusing on bespoke tailoring. Since fashion ecology, building a sustainable future and improving the way we live is at the core of his studies, Joel reached out to Cambridge Mask Company with a request for sponsored pollution masks he could incorporate in his final project. In fact, our masks are skillfully designed by a graduate of Fashion and Design, and what makes us stand out from the respirator crowd is Cambridge Mask Co.’s focus on creating a functional product with a stylish flair. So of course, we were happy to oblige with Joel’s request and excited to see what inspiration he would take from our product.
As of right now, we can give you a sneak peek into the planning stages of his designs. With his prototypes in place and his motivations mapped out, let’s take a little look at what’s evolving in this designer’s workshop.
Joel’s idea was conceptualised by thinking about fashion in the future landscape, so he decided to combine style and functionality into clothing by reaching out to sponsors such as Cambridge Mask Co. for a collaboration:
“When coming up with the line-up, I decided that instead of just making clothes for adults, I wanted to include younger wearers as well, as the health and safety of our future generation is just as crucial as ours. These include children and adolescents of various ages.”
We share in Joel’s concerns and were able to provide Joel with masks that fit children as young as 1.5 years of age. The dangers of air pollution in infants and children are heightened as their lungs are still developing. Around 80% of alveoli (the tiny air sacs in your lungs which transfer the oxygen you breath into your bloodstream) develop after birth. Damage to the lungs at this early stage could create critical health problems in the future. The immune system of a child is also still developing, making young people much more susceptible to respiratory infections. While it is natural and usually non-threatening that a typically healthy child may catch a cold now and then, we are finding each flu season increasingly tricky to manage. With the global health scares in recent years of SARS, Avian Influenza and Swine Influenza, it is no wonder that the students of today are concerned with how to protect the next generation from airborne diseases.
We know that when buying a health product our customers are going to take their time trawling through online reviews of similar items to find the best match for their needs. If you’ve ever spent any time on our Amazon site, you’ll have seen the various requests we’ve had from customers suggesting we create specialised masks for motorbike helmet wearers or balaclava style designs. Joel has thought up a similar idea and run with it in this particular look:
“I developed with the help and advice of my design and tailoring tutors a hooded feature on a jacket that incorporates the Cambridge mask as part of a hood on a garment. There were several stages of pattern manipulation and testing to evolve the aesthetic and practicality of this feature.”
Most of us can only imagine the hours of work it must have taken to perfect this piece. However, our own designer needs less of an imagination having spent an immense amount of time creating the carefully customised fit you experience when wearing our masks, which have been painstakingly designed to mold to the contours of the wearer’s face snugly. Unless the mask fits correctly, it will not be completely effective at filtering 99.7% of particulate matter out of the air. So adding another seemingly simple element such as a hood can create a whole host of problems for a designer trying to find the balance between the style and functionality of the product, especially given that people’s shapes and body types vary so widely:
“One interesting modification came about in the form of an accordion collar stand which allows the hood to be pulled over the head for more protection and coverage, or lifted from the head if only part of the hood is used, this also helps with adjustments for different sized heads to enable more wearers across the board to fit the garment and wear the mask comfortably.”
When creating a product, one must always think of the target market. We’re in the business of helping people, no matter their age, gender or size, so it is important we have a variety of products to meet a range of people’s needs. Since Joel is also focused on creating a collection to fit the whole family, he came up with a clever concept to meet the needs of growing children:
“Apart from jackets, I have recently decided to incorporate the hood with the Cambridge mask onto capes or capelets, specifically for children and toddlers who are constantly growing and require a continuous change of clothes. By designing a cape that fits children as they grow, perhaps even with features in the hood which can adjust to their growing head sizes, we can allow children to wear the garments over a longer period of time before growing out of them eventually.”
Although he’s still playing with a few different ideas, we’ve loved seeing his thought process so far. We’ll touch base with Joel later on in June to get an exclusive look at his final pieces and products when the collection finally comes together as a whole.