When a Prada dust bag becomes a face mask

Updated: Apr 19, 2020, 09:32 IST | Aastha Atray Banan | Mumbai

Instagram style icon and New York girl Jenny Walton decided to do her bit to help during the pandemic by making masks from unusual knick knacks

Walton with the mask she made
Walton with the mask she made

Following Jenny Walton on Instagram means falling in love with her life. She spends her days attending exclusive fashion events, takes pictures on the streets of New York, has two dogs and lives with and loves Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist. Walton, a graduate from Parsons School of Design, who has worked with Miu Miu, Bottega Veneta and Carolina Herrera, has been using her time under lockdown well, gathering knick knacks around her house to make masks for those who need them.

Edited excerpts from an interview

We loved the idea of making masks at home. What prompted you to be ingenious?

I thought about it a bit as I didn't want to spread misinformation. However, when the CDC (Centre of Disease Control) came out with guidelines about everyone wearing a mask, I thought it was important to help spread the practice. Prior to that, I had made about 40 masks for an organisation in NYC called @masks4medicine that helped get masks to frontline healthcare workers.

You used a Prada dust bag, and moleskin diary straps as fabric.

Yes. Making something when no supplies are available is resourceful. I realised that I had so many dust bags that I rarely used. I also had ribbons that I use to package my jewellery line, but beyond that, I have elastic from airplane eyemasks, and I even had a twist tie to use as the nose guard, which I took from a bag of coffee that I had in my kitchen.

How many masks are you finally sending out, and who are they going to?

I originally sent 40 masks to @masks4medicine and then 25 to doctors and nurses who reached out to me via DM. They needed masks to cover their surgical masks and help prolong the life of those, as many are being asked to use fewer than they typically would.

PIC/instagram
Pic/Instagram

Did you make all of them yourself? How long did it take?

Last Sunday, it took me all day from 7 am to 9 pm with only one break for dinner, and I managed to make about 30. I've also been making masks for friends and family and for the workers in my apartment building.

New York is bleeding. How would you describe the mindset of the New Yorker right now?

It is about buckling up and doing what you have to do to help other New Yorkers—whether that's staying inside or supporting local businesses you love either by continuing to buy from them online (or takeout if they are a restaurant that is still open) or through supporting Gofundmes of various businesses.

How have you been coping and what does your day look like?

I am fine. I usually work from home, so my routine hasn't changed. I won't complain about staying indoors because it is a small sacrifice to make, compared to those who are fighting the disease on the front lines.

Follow Walton on Instagram @jennymwalton

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