Designers Decorate Surgical Masks in Charity Initiative

An auction this week of 100 masks raised 30,000 euros for charity KnK Japan Children Without Borders.

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MASQUER-AID: Christian Lacroix, Philippe Starck, Victoire de Castellane, Nathalie Rykiel, Marithé and François Girbaud and Matali Crasset were among the diverse designers who decorated surgical masks in a charity initiative in support of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of the country in March.


This story first appeared in the September 26, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

An auction this week of 100 masks at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris and sponsored by Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido, raised 30,000 euros, or $41,000 at current exchange, for charity KnK Japan Children Without Borders. Following the disaster, Franco-Japanese art gallery director Eko Sato sent out Japanese surgical masks to the artists and designers she knows, asking them to reinterpret that everyday object, so symbolic of Japanese culture, to raise money for the children of Japan.


Creations were as diverse as a sequined, abstract mask reminiscent of the theater by Lacroix to a mask adorned with childlike flower stickers by de Castellane or one with a lipstick print and the word “love” in glitter by Rykiel.


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