Cleo Davis-Urman is a breath of fresh air. Her style is fun, and her positivity radiates, even in emails. When the pandemic hit last year and we were all relegated to masks, Cleo started a company that addressed all her mask concerns — making sure they were both stylish and effective. Her style is fun and so are her barrière masks. Read on for more!
How would you describe your style?
Polished with a pop.
Who have you revered as a style icon throughout different phases of your life?
Jo Stockton, the character Audrey Hepburn played in Funny Face. I love that she combines tweedy intellectual and minimalist beatnik with high-style glamour, embodying the idea that fashion, at its best, is a form of personal expression.
Can you tell us a bit about barrière and how that took shape in 2020?
barrière is the first company to offer premium FDA / CE certified medical grade face masks in on-trend fashion prints. Every mask is made sustainably from recycled material, and is designed to offer excellent breathability, comfort, and >95% bacterial filtration efficiency for the highest level of safety and protection.
When the lockdown began, I started to create and sell fashionable (cloth) masks to friends and industry colleagues, donating the proceeds to local charities and healthcare organizations. While the demand for these stylish solutions was great, questions about the effectiveness of cloth masks prompted me to search for attractive medical-grade mask solutions. The problem? They didn’t exist.
My partner Alexa Adams and I worked so hard to develop a face mask that provides all the benefits of a medical grade product without any of the negatives. A mask with superior protection (98%) and excellent breathability, so you can exercise. A mask made sustainably from recycled and hypoallergenic materials suitable for sensitive skin, (no maskne!). A mask that gives customers the confidence they need to resume their routines safely. I truly believe that when people wear a mask like ours, they feel the difference and understand that masking is the key to living your life comfortably and safely. There’s no going back to normal. We created barrière to help you live your new normal and will build upon our initial mask offering by launching more protective product solutions soon!
The Stay-At-Home lifestyle has changed almost everyone’s everyday fashion. What have you done to either embrace or not embrace the elastic band life?
The biggest change in my approach to everyday fashion has been about dressing for me. Before the pandemic, there were so many events and obligations to attend, and a real emphasis on wearing what’s new and looking out for what’s next. But this year, I’ve consumed a lot less and taken the opportunity to appreciate the timeless pieces in my wardrobe. I’m wearing (and gasp–rewearing) the clothes I love. I’ve realized that I don’t need a special occasion to dress up, even if that means wearing a vintage tulle skirt to the post office, or a feathered headpiece to walk my dog. And while I haven’t exactly embraced the elastic band life, I have worn my fair share of nap dresses during the pandemic.
What are you most looking forward to wearing again post-pandemic?
My prettiest shoes! I look at them longingly, but comfy slippers always find their way to my feet.