As we were sharing with you the stories, and mental health struggles, of the frontline medical workers across the country who are fighting COVID-19, Allure wondered how we might help this group in a very practical, and of course beautiful, way. And then fashion startup Anywear came to us with an idea.
After seeing images of the skin irritation frontline workers are experiencing from wearing face masks during long shifts, Anywear consulted with medical professionals about exactly what might minimize their discomfort. They learned that headbands (and medical caps) with buttons to which masks could be affixed would help alleviate chafing and pain around the ears. Countless Zoom calls and several prototypes later, Anywear has launched The Banding Together Project.
At Anywear’s BandingTogetherProject.com, you can purchase a headband and cloth face covering for yourself and Anywear will donate a headband or medical cap with buttons to a medical professional in need. The headband-and-face-covering sets come in several different styles and over a dozen different prints—that’s where Allure came in. Because beauty is even more special when it’s shared, we called on some pros we consider members of the Allure extended family to channel their creativity and help Anywear create unique designs. Makeup artists Daniel Martin and Nam Vo, hairstylists Chris McMillan and Nikki Nelms, dermatologist Shereene Idriss, and manicurist Mei Kawajiri have each designed headbands and cloth face coverings with a wink to their own creative sensibilities. Model Halima Aden, an Allure cover star and former hospital worker herself, also designed a hijab-and-face-covering set. We even got in the game ourselves, creating several prints based on all our all-time favorite nail art. In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for cloth face coverings, all fabrics are hand and machine washable—as practical as they are pretty.