All five designs snatched up, but lingerie company promises to step up production to meet country’s latent demand for lacy face coverings.

Even before a state of emergency was declared in Japan, coronavirus concerns triggered a run on face masks. Once an ubiquitous, always-in-stock staple of Japanese drug stores, they’re now pretty much impossible to get your hands on unless you happen to be at the store in the very narrow window between when a new shipment comes in and when said shipment is completely sold out.

So to help alleviate the shortage, many companies that aren’t ordinarily involved in mask production have been entering the field, on of which is Atsumi Fashion, based in the city of Himi, Toyama Prefecture. As a clothing company, Atsumi is producing reusable cloth masks, and as you’d probably expect from an apparel manufacturer, they’re using some colorful fabrics.

However, you might notice that those masks look not only colorful, but particularly padded as well. That’s because Atsumi Fashion specializes in lingerie, and it’s applied that expertise to making masks out of bra materials, including this lacy number.

The Lace Bra Mask started off as a half-joke, but was quickly met with a warm response on Japanese social media. Even if it’s cupping someone’s chin instead of their chest, you can’t say it’s not an attractive design, as further proven in this photo where it’s being worn by model, TV and former Terrace House cast member Aya Kondo.

That prompted Atsumi to work up a number of other designs

…and last Saturday, the Lace Bra Mask officially went on sale to the general public. Priced at 1,490 yen (US$14), about half the price of a mid-range Japanese bra, Atsumi still kept its expectations on the conservative side for this bold new direction for mask fashion, offering 50 units each in white, pink, lime, aqua blue, black.

This turned out to be a major underestimation of Japanese shoppers’ interest, however, as the masks are already sold out both on Atsumi Fashion’s own online shop, Lingerie Lab, and through its storefront on online marketplace Rakuten. However, the company has already announced that a new batch of Lace Bra Masks is in the works, since both Japan’s shortage of masks and love for lingerie look set to continue for some time.

Related: Lingerie Lab (Rakuten)
Source: Livedoor News/Gadget Tsushin
Featured image: Twitter/@ AtsumiFashion
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