Social distancing gets fashionable
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Social distancing via hat? Yep you read that right
As many parts of the world begin to slowly reopen, hospitality and retail venues are excited but anticipating unruly customers may forget or be unable to adhere to social distancing measures and remain 1.5m apart.
They needed a solution and that solution, was hats.
Burger King in Germany took their iconic Burger King crown and supersized it (sorry McDonalds reference) to keep customers far apart, whilst also making for a rather humerous and viral-in-the-making content opportunity as customers share photos of the ridiculous hats.
Burger King in other international markets have had success with other COVID related ideas such as Italy’s ‘Social Distancing Whopper’ which comes with three times the onions – your breath will help keep people far, far away from you after eating.
Some historians have noted the resemblance of a traditional Chinese hat named the futou as potentially being an example of historically observed social distancing. Donned by people of all classes, these hats which were common place in the Song Dynasty featured material extending from the left and right sides of the hat which enforced distance from others referred to as ‘wings’ when translated to English. The shape of these wings resembled the class and hierarchy of the wearer – with longer wings worn by the Emperor and high ranking officials.
The hats have once again become under public attention in China as students began making make-shift futou’s out of various materials to return to school and daily life whilst distancing from others. However, historians and anthropologists have since confirmed the hats were actually used to prevent officials from whispering to each other whilst in the public eye, as opposed to preventing a spread of disease as implied.
Some designers have taken to a more ‘serious’ approach to exorbitantly large hats with fashion designers releasing a social-distancing friendly hat within their collections. With many of the pieces inspired by historically iconic hats with designer, similarly to the futou from China. Veronica Toppino hoping to encourage the wearer to be socially conscious.