As fears about the coronavirus sweep across Europe, Luxembourg’s fashionistas are wondering: how can I protect myself while showing that I’ve got great taste and a disposable income greater than my neighbour’s? The answer: designer face masks.

“During our weekly coffee yesterday, my girlfriends and I were talking about the virus, and we worked ourselves into a paranoid frenzy,” said Alexandra Leonhardt, 34. “Not about getting sick, but about how we’d look wearing those silly baby-blue face panties.”

Leonhardt says she wanted something more than a piece of tissue attached to a couple of ugly elastic bands, so she opted for a classic Burberry check face mask with leather straps, one she believes offers protection while at the same time giving her a subtle, sophisticated look.

“My bestie Kate went for something a little sleeker, a leather Louis Vuitton masque parisienne,” she said. “But if you ask me, it looks like something from a horror movie or an S&M club.”

It’s not only women in Luxembourg who are falling for the luxury face mask craze. Fund manager Ashkan Balos, 44, says he can’t afford to lose face in front of clients by wearing the same cheap mask as plumbers, teachers, and bus drivers. He needed something with more oomph.

“Here’s what I wanted: the exact same face mask worn by germophobic Arctic explorers,” he said. “That’s why I bought a Canada Goose Insulated Expedition Face Mask, which at 399 euros might sound like a lot, but it’s lined with real goose feathers and comes with the iconic patch.”

Unsurprisingly, some children in the Grand Duchy are also following the trend.

“When my mum told me I’d have to wear a face mask to school, I cried and said I’d die of embarrassment,” said 11-year-old Gavin Hoodwink. “So she agreed to let me choose my own.”

“All the kids in my class were so jealous when they saw I had a limited-edition Gucci crocodile face mask,” he said. “They think it’s fake, but I carry the receipt around with me to prove how committed my parents are to safeguarding my health.”


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