Pollution in China Inspiring Smog Masks at Fashion Week
Today it has become more important than ever to be creative. Fashion designers have taken note throughout the years and have bounced back with unique designs and collections, making the fashion industry today stronger than ever.
Fashion designers in China have recently set a high standard when it comes to style as well as drawing awareness to a serious issue the Chinese struggle with everyday. At the Mercedez-Benz China Fashion Week in Beijing, high-end fashion designers incorporated oxygen masks into their designers to show how style has evolved in the wake of Beijing’s air pollution. Chinese fashion designers have embraced the public’s acceptance of pollution by using masks as inspiration for their new collections.
Designer QAIODAN Yin Peng debuted his sportswear line at China Fashion Week, launching a collection of modern looks with an array of accompanying breathing masks. Some of these masks had the 3M logo, identifying them as working oxygen masks.
The breathing mask trend has grown tremendously this year in China, also making an appearance at last month’s 34th Beijing International Marathon. Many runners were not only seen wearing protective breathing masks, but also some runners were forced to give up due to the serious air pollution in Beijing.
Because the pollution in Beijing has grown to such a high level, Beijing officials have reported efforts to take extra anti-pollution measures. The capital is at an orange air-pollution alert, the second highest warning in the color-coded alert system. At this level, Beijing residents are prohibited from fireworks and outdoor barbecuing, and children and seniors are encouraged to stay indoors.
Whether the fashion industry is trying to send a message about confronting pollution in Beijing, or simply debuting styles that could represent the real future of fashion in China, PR will certainly come into play. PR campaigns can be powerful and initiate change within local fashion and style, as well as on environmental levels to take measures against pollution. Designer Peng chose to debut his collection of oxygen masks on a runway, which offered him a chance to reach a large audience and draw attention from various media outlets. PR campaigns and strategies that generate a growing awareness could be exactly what Beijing needs to take a step forward in anti-pollution initiatives.