South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi has sent out shockwaves by blueprinting South Africa’s most expensive face mask.
The 28-year-old designer unveiled a five-piece collection of luxury fashion masks called ALKEBULAN, meaning “mother of mankind” – an ancient name of Africa, costing R1, 999, with the cheapest in the collection costing R399.
Modelled by influencer Sarah Langa, the protective face accessory that has been dubbed the 2K mask is a cherry leopard design studded with Swarovski crystals.
Compared to other designer face masks that have been unveiled, this is the most expensive yet. A signature MaXhosa Africa mask will cost R600, while Gert-Johan Coetzee’s range of masks cost between R180 – R380.
Azania face mask range is an extension to the Rich Mnisi ALKEBULAN collection which was launched earlier this year before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
The wearing of masks is a preventive measure and a new standard to how we need to live moving forward,” Mnisi said.
“The collection is a premium limited edition of five face mask designs; The Swarovski Crystals Cherry Leopard, The Prayer, Colliding Zebras, Rich Leopard and Just Another face mask.”
Mnisi said an undisclosed percentage from the proceeds of sales will be donated to charities affected by Covid-19.
While Mnisi declined to comment on whether South Africans can afford the masks amid Covid-19-induced economic uncertainty, social media has received his collection with polarising views.
Last year, Mnisi made headlines when he designed a dress that reportedly cost R94k for Nomalanga Shozi to wear at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. He was named Emerging Designer of the Year by Essence Black Fashion Awards in New York last year.