Van Laack Makes The Corona Mask A Coveted Fashion Accessory

The fashion company has made the mask with design a branded item. With this, company boss Christian von Daniels wins new target groups. And he continues to expand the new business area.

Keys, wallet, cell phone and mask – these essentials are a must when leaving the house these days. The “mouth and nose cover”, as it is correctly called, has been part of everyday life since April this year and is intended to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. But many people find the masks annoying, annoying and ugly – and therefore very reluctant to wear them.

The German textile manufacturer van Laack wants to some change. His “community masks”, which he brought onto the European market in February, should not just be a functional object. Van Laack is the first fashion company to upgrade the mask with bright colors and patterns and a printed logo to a fashion accessory.

With surprising success: the masks are well received by buyers both online and in stationary retail. Drugstores like dm and grocers like Edeka quickly asked van Laack whether they could add the items to their range.

Since then, van Laack has sold well over 100 million masks in Germany. “Statistically speaking, we have already supplied every German citizen with a mask,” says Christian von Daniels, managing partner of van Laack.

The family company was founded in 1881 by Heinrich van Laack. In 2002, textile entrepreneur Christian von Daniels finally bought the company. At the beginning of the pandemic, the now 65-year-old dealt with mouth and nose masks at an early age through his work in Asia. He quickly got the idea that these cloth masks could also be a business opportunity.

And he continues to expand the new business area. In addition to the masks, van Laack also added protective clothing such as surgical gowns to its range at the beginning of the year. The request from university clinics and pharmacies is still very high. In March, the company supported the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with protective clothing and equipped the state police of North Rhine-Westphalia with around 1.3 million masks.

The fabric masks are, unlike most conventional fabric or disposable masks, available in different colors and patterns and provided with the logo – and thus become a branded product. The aim is not to perceive wearing a mask as a chore, but to combine it with some fun and creativity. The company supports this with an extensive marketing campaign, including TV spots with testimonial Johannes B. Kerner.

Van Laack’s brand awareness has increased enormously since the masks were sold. According to their own statement, the traffic on the website is five to six ,times as high as before. In addition, van Laack has managed to almost completely compensate for the drop in sales of shirts and blouses since the spring by producing masks.

Van Laack does not take this for granted. According to the annual financial statements in the “Bundesanzeiger”, sales only rose to 56 million euros last year. In the previous three years it had dropped to below 50 million.

It remains to be seen how sustainable the mouth and nose protection business is. In Asia, the wearing of masks was seen even before the pandemic. In Europe, this could possibly also be done on a voluntary basis when there are large gatherings of people or on public transport.

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