Masking in form and function: FSAD hosts face mask design competition

Mask competition winners

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) challenged students to design a fashionable and functional face mask in their "FSAD to the Rescue" competition. Students from all of FSAD’s majors, including undergraduate and graduate students, were invited to create masks that were uniquely Cornell and included design elements that represented the college or the university.

Individuals and teams entered a total of eighteen submissions into the competition. Proposals were due in late June and required an original mask design that covered the wearer’s mouth and nose. Each entry included a detailed technical drawing, flat pattern, and textile design. Students also submitted images or videos of constructed prototypes, displayed on a person’s face and a flat surface.

With college prize money at stake, six judges chose their top five favorite designs at the beginning of July. Fran Kozen, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies of fiber science & apparel design, said judges were “We were quite impressed with the professional quality of the designs, and the interesting ideas and or research that went into them.”

First Place:

Jenny Leigh Du Puis, Ph.D. student in Apparel, and Katarina Goodge, M.S. student in Fiber Science

The judges awarded first prize to Jenny Leigh Du Puis and Katarina Goodge. Their proposal focused on mask improvements based on consumer research. Their face mask can be tied around the head or the ears via a loop on the mask, giving the wearer options for comfort. They included a bottom pleat for additional wearer room, as well.

Mask on subject

Grey face mask prototype with red piping, branded with Cornell Athletic logo with Cornell "C" and Bear

Mask with text explanation

Learn more about this mask on YouTube

Second Place: Yvonne Schichtel (Fashion Design) ‘21  

Schichtel's proposal offered an addition of a clear central panel, so the wearer's mouth could be seen and accommodate individuals who depend on lip-reading. It also had the ability to customize the elastic ties for better comfort of the wearer. Her textile design utilized a unique seamless repeat pattern inspired by the university’s academic and athletic branding.

Second place mask

Muslin face mask prototype with green and orange patterned elastic ties, mask contains a clear central panel.

Third place: Hanna Norris (Fiber Science) '22

Norris's proposal offered the wearer protection while providing extra space around the mouth and nose area. The mask’s breathable head strap would help hold it secure. Judges commented on her textile design's uniqueness and how it would be interesting to bring to market. The textile design was formed using a bird's eye contour view of the gorges that surround Cornell's campus.

Third place mask

Red face mask prototype with white contour design

National Contest Exposure

Jenny Leigh Du Puis, one of FSAD's competition winners, was also recently recognized by the Coney Island USA's "Put on a Funny Face Mask Contest." Coney Island USA is a not-for-profit community arts organization that celebrates American popular culture. Du Puis's entries won a "Maskie" award for "Best Formal Mask" and appeared in the top six of the Mask Makers' Choice contest.

Left and center image is a Crystal encrusted bird beak mask placed on a hat stand outside. Right image is a Pearl and metal stud encrusted black mask on a white mannequin head

Left and center: Du Puis's "Magpie" Mask won "Best Formal Mask". Right: Du Puis's "Revolution" Mask placed in the top six of the Mask Makers' Choice contest

About the Department

The Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design provides an opportunity to study and research fibers, fabrics, apparel and the apparel industry from design, management, historical and scientific perspectives.

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