As it turns out, Zhijun Wang was ahead of his time. The Beijing-based artist has been repurposing items as face masks since 2013, with his most notable work involving rare pairs of sneakers. His art has even been recognized by the MoMA, which purchased his Adidas Yeezy 350 V2 "Beluga" mask and displayed it as part of the "Is Fashion Modern?" exhibition.
Now that the CDC has recommended that everyone wear masks because of the coronavirus, Wang's work is newly relevant as a way to make personal protective equipment more expressive. And in effort to inspire people to follow his lead, he's made a pattern available on his site free for anyone to use.
Try it with an Ikea bag — As long as you've got the fabric, the possibilities for your own masks are endless. One option is repurposing Ikea's iconic Frakta tote bag, as Wang did for a 2017 piece that's once again making the rounds. It's significantly less unwieldy than wearing a whole ass shoe on your face and is also way easier to construct. Along with the pattern, he's also uploaded a YouTube video to help guide anyone who wants to take on the craft.
For your own spin on the idea, consider using Ikea's yearly Pride Month bag, which features a rainbow and goes back up for sale May 15.
Or keep it hypebeast — If you aren't among the Wang collectors that include Takashi Murakami, James Harden, and Paulo Dybala but still want to rep your favorite sneaker brand, consider cutting up anything with a logo to be used for the pattern. Using his open source pattern, Wang has also made a mask from a Nike tote bag that's easily replicable.
You may as well take this time to get creative because the rona ain't going away any time soon. If you're like me, any project is welcomed to break up the monotony of this new life in isolation.