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Archive for the 'Masquerade Masks' Category...

Filed under Mardi Gras Masks, Masks, Masquerade Masks, Venetian Masks
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As 2012 rolls out, retailers are looking for every edge to build a successful year, especially if the holiday season was less than spectacular.  One often-overlooked market that has more sales potential than imagined is masks.  I’m sure that will raise some eyebrows of doubt, but this market has been growing quietly under radar for the last few years. 


You have seen them in movies and in reality shows, but probably had little idea how popularity was growing.  Today schools are doing masquerade proms; couples are having Mardi Gras or Venetian weddings; fundraisers are using masks to raise money; and masked balls are growing in popularity. 


When your customers need large quantities, they usually turn to masquerade masks because they get a reasonably good look at very inexpensive price.  One-step up is feather masks—still inexpensive, but exceptional in appearance. 


However, the surprising big winner in today’s market is Venetian style masks.  They have a history that dates back to the Renaissance where the art had its own Guild in Venice.  Masking was common in Venice and eventually got out of hand, causing the Church to step in and limit the time to Carnival, from the Feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day.


Some designs were popular among the public and others found inspiration in the Commedia dell’arte, the Venetian theatre.  From popular designs comes the Bauta mask and no one can visit Carnival in Venice without seeing this style that was a favorite disguise by the populace of the City.  Accompanied with a cape or hood, the mask not only covered the face, but also muffled the voice to avoid identification of the wearer. 


Mask inspiration also comes from the Commedia dell’arte.  Actually, the original masks used during the Renaissance were made of leather, but his revival of the art in the early 1970s took the characters as inspiration and brought the art to a new level. 


The long nose mask is an example.  The servant characters of the Commedia dell’arte were called Zanni.  This form of theatre is the origin of slapstick.  (The name actually comes from Arlecchino’s sword that had two pieces of wood separated so when he smacked someone with it the wood slapped together making a noise.)  The raw humor associated the length of a Zanni’s nose with how dumb the character was—the longer the nose, the dumber the character.  From this comes the Zanni mask with exaggerated nose, so popular today. 


The leading servant character was Arlecchino often represented by patchwork patterns reflecting his patched clothes.  Arlecchino masks are a favorite for men for masquerade. 


It the US Carnival is most commonly referred to as Mardi Gras.  The full-face jester mask in Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green is a spectacular piece of art that is Venetian inspired and can be worn or used as a wall mask.  The jester hat and collar are shapeable. 


Venetian style masks can also be very elegant.  Venetian style weddings today use masks, often masks on a stick.  The most popular style has ostrich plumes in color combinations of white and silver or white and gold.  This is growing in popularity faster than most people realize. So if you are a bridal shop, don’t overlook the possibilities here.   


Fundraisers and masquerade balls often call for more elaborate Venetian style masks.  The butterfly Venetian style mask is exceptional.  A mesh screen above the top provides the appearance of butterfly wings.  This style is pricier so quantities aren’t large, but the engaging beauty of the design keeps it selling. 



The newest Venetian style mask in the upper end comes individually boxed with dimensionally shaped maple leaves surrounding the eye mask.  Two-tone colors shade for a spectacular effect.  The inspiration of the maple leaves is a mystery, but the beauty sells this work of art. 


Mardi Gras is a month away and it is it huge for mask sales.  Beyond that interest continues all the way to summer with proms, weddings, balls, and fundraisers.  Surprise yourself by trying some masks in your shop.  There is a bigger market than most retailers realize. 

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Filed under Masks, Masquerade Masks, Uncategorized, Venetian Masks, Wall Masks
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 Tired of the sultry heat of summer?  Well fall is coming and Halloween is just ten weeks away.  So one way to build some excitement in your store during the muggy days of August is to introduce some extraordinary art in masks that will grab customers’ attention—and do it before all the discounters roll out their Halloween and try to steal your thunder. 

Before we begin reviewing the fabulous new designs in masks, let’s see how important Halloween is to retail sales.  The National Retail Federation keeps track of this kind of stuff and the 2010 results are online.  What category do you think led Halloween sales in 2010?  If you answered kids’ costumes, that is 4th.  Candy was first, decorations were second, and adult costumes finished third.  That means there is a lot more Halloween parties for adults than we would have imagined and that is good for us because they will need masks. 

The NFR reports that adult parties are growing every year and 2009 accounted for 6 billion in sales with 2010 being bigger.   In a fragile economy, this is a huge help.  Combine new arrivals in masks with some of the timeless designs already in our line and you can capture part of these sales.    

Ladies masks this season will take your customers’ breath with a maple leaf design that tastefully combines crystals, glitter, cupped maple leaves, and a special technique in painting that gives an antiqued crackled effect to these Venetian style masks that come individually boxed with clear plastic tops.  

A second Venetian style mask using maple leaves also comes individually boxed.  The same special technique of painting delivers the crackle design with maple leaves extending from one end and a feather arrangement on the other.  Both designs are eye masks that can be worn while eating or drinking at a party and both have color choices. 

Want a ladies mask with all the mystique of masquerade?  A new lace mask in black certainly fills the bill.  The eye mask shapes to the face with lace blended with a hazy film that is semi-transparent.  Beaded drops are spaced along the bottom of the mask.  Price is very reasonable and these masks need to be part of your Halloween display because they certainly look the part. 

In Venetian style masks, a new full-face jester offers all the artistic craftsmanship anyone could want in a mask at a price that will make your customers look twice.  While not as convenient for enjoying food or drink at a party, these jester masks are so outstanding that customers will have a hard time passing them by at these prices.  They also have a loop that lets them double as wall hangings. 


Sometimes the host provides masks for their guests so they need something that is attractive, yet very affordable.  New arrivals have a variety of masquerade masks that will work for Halloween parties.  For men, nothing is more popular or more recognized than the domino mask.  You know this mask.  It is the lone ranger mask that is also worn by several other super heroes and used in cartoons to denote burglars and bad guys.  During the Renaissance, the mask was accompanied with a hood that looked much like the garb a priest wore for warmth.  The root word for the domino mask is the French word for priest.  These domino masks sandwich flexible mylar between thin layers of fabric for quality that is still inexpensive. 

Perhaps the most exciting new masquerade mask for women is the glittery butterfly mask.  They have the shape of a butterfly with wings spread and plenty of sparkle.  Best of all cost is $2.20 wholesale and price drops with quantity.  So your customers that are hosting parties can still get a great buy even after your markup. 

Summer is nearly over and won’t be missed unless you are a summer tourist destination.  Fall is around the corner and that should translate into better sales.   Why not start the excitement now with knockout items customers will be looking for shortly.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Monday, August 22nd, 2011