A Japanese kimono maker has teamed up with a company that runs nightclubs to develop hostess-friendly face masks that make it easy to sip drinks and create an alluring atmosphere.
Inspired by face veils worn by belly dancers, the masks feature three vertical strips of cloth that form a curtain covering the nose and mouth, with the strip in the center of double thickness.
Users of Face Veil are able to eat and drink without removing the covering just by raising the middle strip of cloth.
Co-developed by kimono maker Otozuki and a company that operates nightclubs in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, the masks are being sold online by a liquor retailing cooperative in the northeastern Japan city.
"They are less uncomfortable than (normal) face masks," an official at the cooperative said. "They are becoming popular among women working in the nightlife industry."
Face Veil has come on the market as Japan reopens its economy after bringing the spread of the novel coronavirus largely under control, with even night entertainment venues permitted to go back to business.
Priced between 2,200 yen ($20) and 3,850 yen, the masks are available in various colors, including black, blue, and pink, and in three types of material, plain, lace and traditional Yonezawa fabric.
The masks have also been bought by people who have skin problems and by musicians, according to the cooperative.