Eva Franco Seeks to Create Style for Pandemic Fashion
When the economic freeze from the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Eva Franco brand had to figure out what to do with the estimated 4,000-square feet of high-end fabrics in its warehouse and offices in downtown Los Angeles.
Apparel companies from high-end designers to T-shirt brands were selling masks to the public and donating them to frontline workers, Eva Franco, the brand’s namesake, as well as its creative director and chief executive officer, hoped to do the same in order to help the public, and to find a way for her 18-year-old company to survive and do something with all of that fabric.
In April, she started out by making face masks with a standard design to cover the nose and the mouth. Some of the masks featured pockets for filters. She donated masks to drivers for the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, a municipal agency that serves senior centers.
The designer also sought to do something with a fashion-focused Eva Franco signature. So, she also created the scarf mask. Using approximately half a yard of fabric, Franco created a piece that covers the shoulders and a wearer’s face. Many of the brand’s scarves are made from chiffon fabric that would have been used for an Eva Franco dress during a previous season. The scarf masks feature elastic bands, which fit around the wearer’s ears and allow the scarf to turn into a mask.
The scarf portion that is intended to serve as the mask is lined by jersey fabric to make it sturdier, Franco said. Franco has made variations of the scarf mask. She has designed baseball caps, which can be attached to scarves, as well as bucket hats that can be attached to visors using Velcro. The pandemic fashion retails for $12.50 to $48, and has been wholesaled as well as retailed on direct-to-consumer channel www.evafranco.com.
“We have opportunities as designers to make elevated products, which people currently need," Franco said. "It’s always been our job to make these products. But it’s even more so now."
Franco hasn’t forgotten about designing clothes though. For her next project, she’ll be designing mother-daughter outfits.