Designer Jamilia Harewood

Facemasks have become an everyday gear for tens of thousands of people around the globe, in the wake of the Covid-2019 disease scare globally.

Now, one local designer wants to make sure citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are protected especially this Carnival season.

Jamila Harewood of Petit Valley is taking it one step further with her bejewelled facemask.

Harewood is the owner of a make-up company called Fierce Face. After 10 years of doing people’s makeup and face-painting, she was inspired to try something new. Last year she created her own facemask, using fabric complete with bejewelled embellishment, as an additional accessory to her carnival costume.

To her surprise, she told Guardian Media many people were impressed by the look.

During an interview with Guardian Media, Harewood confessed the bejewelled facemask was simply an accessory. However, after posting pictures of her design on social media, she has been contacted by many persons wanting to protect themselves against viruses and dust for this year’s Carnival celebrations.

There has been a worldwide panic caused by Covid-2019 with over 42,000 confirmed cases and over 1,000 deaths in various countries. The first case of the disease, which was officially named yesterday by the World Health Organization, was recorded in Wuhan, China. Like many other countries, Trinidad and Tobago has enforced travel restrictions. Non-nationals or crew members who have been in mainland China are prohibited from entering the country.

With Carnival around the corner and hundreds of tourists expected to make their way to T&T, there have been concerns about the virus reaching our shores. However, the authorities firmly believe there is no threat to the country.

People across the world have been wearing facemasks daily since the viral outbreak.

Harewood, 38, is encouraging locals to protect themselves, especially during Carnival.

She said, “the mask would definitely offer protection at least from someone sneezing or coughing on you and is breathable”.

Each facemask is specially designed to match the person’s carnival costume.

She told us it takes about 30 minutes to design and decorate a facemask with the full support of her husband, children and siblings. All material she added is purchased locally. Each facemask is priced between $150 to $300.

“Some of the materials are very pricey and some aren’t so there’s a balance”, according to Harewood.

Harewood is also hoping to attract customers from other Caribbean countries.