Fashion influencers and brands are promoting gold-studded head covers or full Perspex coverings.

We’re all familiar with the art of wearing masks, whether they are disposable, cloth, plain or patterned. Now the fashion world is trying out a new type of PPE: The luxury face shield.

Earlier in the week, Louis Vuitton unveiled its Shield Visor featuring a monogrammed LV trim and strap, embossed gold studs and a photochromatic shield that changes from clear to dark when it’s sunny. It’s expected to retail for hundreds of pounds next month. But could this be the next generation of protective wear?

Elizabeth Paton, a reporter from the nbsp.New York Times style section, said that when a brand like Louis Vuitton announces an item such as its new face shield the rest of industry notices.

Image: The Shield Visor by Louis Vuitton.

Already, companies are producing their own versions of the face shield. Covidisor, a US startup, has created a bubble-like face-covering that looks like an astronaut’s helmet. Michelle Madonna Charles, a style blogger from New York Fashion Week, wore it last week.

The respirator is powered and can be used to purify air. It is very comfortable and easy to use. It costs PS190 ($245) and allows the wearer to expose their entire face. This helps avoid communication problems that may be caused by wearing face masks.

Marco Canevacci, from Plastique Fantastique in Berlin, says that people from the west have difficulty covering their faces, unlike some regions of south-east Asia and several Arab countries. The latest creation of the group is the .iSphere. It’s a face shield that looks like a fishbowl and was created for a performance art installation. Canevacci states that the idea behind the iSphere is to “question the importance of transparent identities”. The design was inspired by the “science fiction comics” of the 1950s and the creations made by the utopian movements in the 1960s, Canevacci said.

Joe Doucet, a London-based architect, created the Vue Shield with the intention that people “want to wear” rather than just tolerate a piece PPE. The Vue Shield is designed around sunglasses to give the wearer a sense of familiarity. It is also more affordable at PS30 (39). Doucet sees the shield as a way to provide complete facial protection. He says that a mask protects the nose, mouth and eyes but not our eyes. Although the jury is still out about their effectiveness, the latest research shows that they can protect the user from large drops, such as those caused by a cough or sneeze.

The face shield’s peacocking potential is far greater than its protective aspects. Paton says, “It’s easy to see why a sleek and design-led face mask is likely to get embraced by high fashion brands.” It is more striking in structure and statement than a face mask, which will appeal creative directors who see an opportunity.

She believes luxury brands will soon produce shields. However, she adds that “Luxury Personal Protective Equipment” is still an elusive topic. Designers will be cautious about causing a backlash by charging high prices for accessories such as this, even though the pandemic is far from over.