When facing a crisis such as the one we currently find ourselves in, there’s one man who’s already in a position to offer his expertise for the cause. Zhijun Wang is a designer who has carved a reputation for transforming some of the most hyped sneakers on the market into face masks. And he’s now turned his niche talent to the Mercurial Superfly VII.

A designer with a disruptive dynamic, Wang has rapidly built a following for his stunning collection of masks that he designs and creates from some of the most hyped sneakers on the market. He popped up on the footballing radar back at the end of 2018 when, as part of the launch for the then-brand new COPA 19+, he created a bespoke 'Gladiator' mask out of the boot for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. And his latest creation takes a leaf out of that book, transforming the ‘Future Lab’ Mercurial Superfly VII into a face mask.

We’ve already seen several football-related mask options coming on to the scene, including Bayern Munich repurposing old scarves for their designs, and Sunst Studios creating some INTERHOOD-approved face masks, made from a unique composite of Nike jersey offcuts. But Wang’s latest design is certainly one that’s on the unique side. Don’t expect to see the Mercurial Superfly VII mask become a regular fixture on the shelves. However, the Beijing-based sneaker designer and mask artist says that anyone can make a mask.

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Wang first started his somewhat peculiar hobby when out running. “I noticed that under the street lights there was like a smokey haze, so I checked the internet and I found that this smoke would be harmful to my health especially after running. So I wanted to make something to protect myself from that, but I didn’t want to just wear the plain white normal masks,” he explained. “At that moment I wanted to make an interesting solution and because I’m a designer, I love creative things. So many people were wearing masks and they were all the same so I wanted to create something different. I love customised sneakers so I thought I would just try to make mask out of a pair.

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Check out more of Wang's creations here.