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Behind the mask: San Francisco designer creates face coverings for celebrities

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Face masks have become a must-have item for stepping outside safely due to the pandemic.

But in the hands of a San Francisco designer, masks are fashion statements and a form of expression. 

Lance Victor Moore has been creating some breathtaking face masks for celebrities, and most recently for none other than Lady Gaga.

It all started in 2016 when “Project Runway” designer Emily Payne debuted Moore’s masks at New York Fashion Week.

“Her clothing is kind of gender-neutral, and so she wanted something that was gonna obscure the model’s faces and still be kind of fashionable. So before we called them COVID masks, we used to call the masks we’re all wearing now ‘dusters.’ It was what people would wear to Burning Man or festivals.”

These “duster masks” ended up being a hit.

So when the pandemic hit, he already had the fabrics, templates, and experience to set himself up for continued success.

“I think that’s how Lady Gaga’s people kind of found me,” Moore said. 

Gaga’s stylist reached out to Moore out of the blue with a list of requests. 

Moore quickly got to work and later learned that Gaga was going to wear his mask at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30th.

She also wore Moore’s mask in her “911” music video. 

Moore’s success didn’t stop here. 

Shortly after Gaga’s appearance in Moore’s masks, actor Milla Jovovich’s team reached out. 

Moore grew up in a strict household and says creativity was always his outlet.

“At an early age, I was always making costumes for myself and trying to live a very realistic fantasy life. So I made costumes and masks.”

As Moore became older, he realized there was a market for his designs.

“Fashion is a great art form in the sense that, unlike a painting or beautiful song, fashion only comes alive as a true art form once there’s a living soul inside of it. And you see the potential of it. A beautiful Dior dress is just a Dior dress. But when the right person’s wearing it, it becomes the dress.”

A year after COVID-19, getting a mask is not nearly as hard. So Lance says he’s pivoted away from making COVID masks and is back into artistic masks.

“I hope that by doing this, this sort of reminds people that masks don’t have to be scary. They can be fun. We’re just in a weird time right now.”

If you’d like to get in contact with Moore or find out how to get your hands on one of his designs, head to his website or Instagram.

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