Apparently, the “new normal” means designer PPE— for those of us who can afford the hefty $970 price tag, that is. Louis Vuitton has announced plans to release an LV Shield, a plastic face covering featuring the brand’s trademark monogram LV pattern which can also be pushed upward to be worn as a hat. 

Masks have come a long way since worldwide lockdown began in March. From being sneered at as an unnecessary precaution at the start of the pandemic, to becoming so scarce that even medical personnel battled severe PPE shortages while trying to care for an exponentially-growing number of COVID-19 patients, masks are now the luxury market’s latest fixation.

The question is— will consumers bite? Probably. Rain or shine (or worldwide pandemic), fashion’s legion of hypebeasts who eagerly anticipate any opportunity to drop a bag on limited-edition luxury items is strong enough to keep any designer drop afloat, regardless of how seemingly unnecessary it is. 

The shield features an elastic, monogrammed headband which keeps the transparent visor in place, and will be released by the French fashion house on October 30th. The shield is also light-sensitive, and transitions from light to dark depending on the wearer’s sunlight exposure. 

Six months into the pandemic and with no end in sight to the steady number of U.S. Coronavirus case occurrences, masks are still a requirement for entrance to most establishments, much to the dismay of many Americans. Perhaps the release of this LV Shield will revamp social distancing in the eyes of naysayers, making it a stylish endeavor.