Arlene Larsen sets out with a mission to make masks fashionable
Arlene Larsen, the co-founder of the Magic Castle Cabaret in Montecito, is encouraging the plethora of Santa Barbara celebrities to get ahead of the curve by turning the wearing of masks into a fashion statement.
After seeing the recent controversy surrounding the wearing of masks, Mrs. Larsen told the News-Press she hopes her new effort can increase the number of people wearing masks in a way that is fun for everybody.
A member of the Hollywood Costume Designers Guild with years of experience in promotion, Mrs. Larsen said she has recently been buying, creating and decorating fashionable masks and face shields and sending them to local celebrities. Her hope is to get them to use their massive social influences to make wearing masks seem cool and fun.
“I think we can really make a difference, I really do,” Mrs. Larsen said. “We have so many celebrities here in town, and I just don’t have the power to reach them. We can turn this whole thing around right here in Santa Barbara, I know we can.”
By creating masks and face shields in a variety of different themes, Mrs. Larsen hopes to make mask wearing a new social phenomenon. She also said with so many other companies and groups making masks in addition to herself, people are currently able to get virtually any style of mask they want similar to other clothing items, and that people should enjoy finding a mask that matches their own unique style.
In addition to being a way to keep people safe and make light out of a dire situation, Mrs. Larsen said she hopes her efforts also help get things back to normal and get people who are suffering, economically, back to work.
“It should be like a woman buying a pair of earrings or shoes to match her outfit,” Mrs. Larsen said. “She should have as many masks as she does shoes in her closet. Instead of being a ‘punishment’, you know? It should be something fun to wear.”
Going forward, Mrs. Larsen said she and her husband, Milt, will be focused on getting the word out about the new movement as well as work on making their businesses as safe as possible for when they do get to fully reopen. So far, she said she has sent fashionable masks to stars such as Steve Martin, David Copperfield, Oprah Winfrey and more.
Mr. Copperfield is among the magicians who have performed at the Magic Castle, the Hollywood landmark that Mr. Larsen co-founded with his late brother, William Larsen Jr., in the early 1960s.
For more information about participating in Mrs. Larsen’s “Safety is Fashionable” project, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.