The Mask Man of Redondo Beach
Story and photos by JP Cordero
I was in Riviera Village capturing photos of business pivots for Easy Reader with a focus on restaurant take-out. As I strolled back to my car I noticed a wood dowel strung with protective masks of various fabrics and colors in the doorway of Fernando’s clothing store. Coming from the back of the shop, was the sound of a sewing machine, chugging along like a toy train.
Fernando Adames greeted me at the entrance with smiling eyes and a comical mask with Dennis the Menace printed on white cotton.
He showed me a swath of fabric he thought would suit me. It was black and white with what looked to be newsprint across the front. We began to brainstorm about a mask for my wife. I know better than to just purchase any garment for my partner, so I did what any modern husband would do. I FaceTimed her. She chose a floral print that could have been used, in normal times, for an aloha shirt. For my son, Fernando had the perfect print, which I knew Hudson would enjoy: Skulls.
Fernando’s masks are a bargain at $10 when compared to prices online. As a bonus, buyers get to support a local business. Fernando said he is “using creativity and skill to keep the business open.”
Fernando’s opened in downtown Hermosa Beach in 1980. He moved the store to Riviera Village in 2012.
“I started to sew out of necessity. There was a need for customized clothing in Hermosa Beach. Over the years I’ve collected a large amount of fabric, and I like to bring originality and customization to everything I touch,” he said.
“It is important to make sure everyone looks great while protecting themselves. In mid March, when I heard there was a shortage of masks, I was lucky enough to already have elastic (for the mask straps), which was sold out everywhere. So I decided to make masks. It makes me an essential business and I can help everyone through this terrible time.”
Fernando’s masks fit comfortably and my family loves the fact that our custom masks express our personalities. Not only do they look cool, but cloth masks decrease our reliance on disposable protective equipment needed by medical workers.
Ferrnando’s is located at 1731 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach. (310) 529-8935. ER
by Kevin Cody
Kevin is the publisher of Easy Reader and Beach. Share your news tips. 310 372-4611 ext. 110 or kevin[at]easyreadernews[dot]com