I’m a dress designer… a partially deaf one actually, and have had my own couture design business for over thirty years now.
The perfectionism that has both driven and frustrated my business over the last thirty years or so, really came into its own with this project, although I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t made for some colourful moments.
If you want to see what I was up to before this, take a look at www.angelinacolarusso.com
Like a lot of students who graduated during covid, it went without ceremony and not without it’s challenges, but my degree in sociology/anthropology has definitely not gone to waste during this whole process.
Taking a product like this from concept to market has tested my resourcefulness and understanding but I have found the journey fascinating and am really happy with the product.
When Covid, arrived and covering up became a thing… I’ll be honest, designing a face mask was not my first thought…but when I realised I couldn’t hear my clients, nor see their expressions, it became, firstly, a bit of an obsession, and then, a necessity.
I ordered several shields and clear masks, and tried them out, but they just didn’t feel safe to me. Many standing too far away from the face or barely covering the nose and mouth and others, also, covering the eyes. The thought of looking through random plastics for long periods of time, didn’t much appeal to me…especially for more detailed work.
So, pretty much out of desperation, I began sketching and cutting up bits of paper and card to try to create something, which I hoped would be a better solution.
Of course, we had no idea what we were doing at the start…but it’s amazing what you can learn with the right intent, a bit of trial and error and fair dose of determination.
Around that time, my son, just graduated, returned from uni. He had barely stepped through the door, when I had his head wrapped in Plaster of Paris, with the intent of making a head cast, for us to sculpt our first prototype. If you’ve ever tried this, you’ll know how hard it is, and it’ll probably come as no surprise when I tell you, it failed miserably. Very disappointing at the time, but nothing is lost…..and we quickly learned that “Occam”s Razor” is not just a theory for physicists.
“The simplest solution is almost always the best” Absolutely right. We ended up using a polystyrene head for £5.99!
That was the first of a massive learning curve and one that we kept in mind every step of the way, through the whole design and development process of our mask, working hard to keep the design as simple and streamlined as possible.
We wanted VYZA to be iconic in it's simplicity, elegance and functionality...Crystal clear, communication and connection, with futuristic style, but most importantly, we wanted it to be fit for purpose.
We worked hard to create a mask of the future, for the world of today which combined the caring of a mask with the clarity of a shield.