Jon Stevenson, who founded the hip baby sock company Trumpette, has come up with a new fashion accessory for the COVID-19 era: face masks. Marketed under the cheeky name Cootie Blockers, the masks are sold on Stevenson’s website (jonstevenson.com) and at the Saturday Midtown Farmers Market on 20th Street.
Stevenson got into the face mask business quite by accident. In early April, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear masks out in public, he made several for himself and his partner using old Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton shoe bags from their closet. After posting pictures of the designer-logo masks on Facebook, he was deluged with requests for similar masks. But with no luxury footwear bags to spare, he decided instead to make some out of fashionable cotton jersey knit. The masks come in chic black or heather gray, and some are silk-screened with the words “Back up MF!” in tiny type. “If you can read it, you’re too close,” says Stevenson.