Barrière has turned safety products into a luxury brand. During challenging times like navigating the pandemic, Barrière provides safety with style through face mask and skincare products that create confidence. Barrière’s masks are unique in that they provide all the benefits of medical grade masks, allow for easy breathability, are sustainably made, and stylish to top it all off. Barrière has created a product where personal protection goes hand in hand with personal care.
Q: Tell us a bit about you and your background
Cleo: I’ve held a variety of titles in the fashion industry, from Fashion Director to Director of Special Projects. Whether working for a startup like Moda Operandi or a storied brick-and-mortar retailer like Saks, I have always been passionate about helping consumers solve problems. With barrière, I am more focused than ever on precisely that.
As one of the first employees of Moda Operandi, I learned a lot about starting a first-of-its-kind business, which has been incredibly relevant and helpful in launching barrière. My experience as Fashion Director of Saks prepared me for developing a trend-driven merchandising strategy, while my role as Director of Special Projects, where I was responsible for creating innovative marketing campaigns and securing brand partnerships, helped me shape our robust marketing and communications strategies. But I think the most valuable lesson I learned from my experiences in fashion is that a consumer will embrace a product if it makes them feel good and look good. Our barrière products offer safety and style during challenging times, a combination that’s easy to love and even easier to wear. Problem solved!
Q: Why did you create Barrière?
Cleo: Early in the Pandemic, nobody knew what PPE was or where to find quality products. When I first started looking for masks to buy, it was like the wild west! There were random products of dubious origins with little-to-no quality control. It was incredibly frustrating that I couldn’t find the premium solutions I wanted or products I could trust. From there, the idea for Barrière was born to carve out an entirely new category in the wellness space, where personal protection meets personal care, and safety is the new luxury.
Q: What makes Barrière’s masks stand out amongst others?
Cleo: We knew that medical-grade masks were much more effective than cloth, but they were difficult to procure, and people resisted wearing them because they were uncomfortable and unattractive. So we worked hard to develop a face mask that provides all the benefits of a medical-grade product without any negatives. A mask with superior protection (98%) and FDA-approved, excellent breathability so you can exercise. A mask made sustainably from recycled and hypo-allergenic materials suitable for sensitive skin (no maskne or ugly chin break-outs!). A mask that gives customers the confidence they need to resume their daily routines safely. And a mask that can be safe and stylish at the same time.
Q: What is PPE, why is that important to Barrière?
Cleo: We envisioned elevating PPE -- Personal Protective Equipment, which sounds so Sci-Fi and utilitarian -- into the premium world of personal care. Consumers have become increasingly sophisticated about self-care products, and in our “new normal,” premium PPE belongs in this category.
Q: What is unique about Barriere’s personal care products?
Cleo: At Barrière, safety is always the priority, and science works hand-in-hand with a Clean beauty philosophy. Our goal was to develop safe and sustainable personal care products that make it easy to maintain some of the positive health and safety behaviors we adopted during the pandemic. Often the products that are the most effective are also the most troublesome for the consumer. We challenge ourselves every day to create effective solutions to the medical and environmental threats we face daily while eliminating the pain points and considering what's important to the customer. Our unique approach of combining cutting-edge medical technology with the best innovations coming out of the wellness and clean skincare space makes this possible.
We are committed to making an impact, so sustainability is fundamental to us. All of our products aim to offer medical-grade protection without any of the negatives. While medical-grade products are the most effective, they can have environmental consequences. For example, we are the first and only consumer mask brand working to be carbon neutral. Our premium face masks are made from 100% recycled PET, and we offer a consumer recycling program to ensure the lowest impact on our environment.
Q: If there was one message to take away from Barrièr products, what would that message be?
Cleo: With our products you never give safety a day off, and never compromise quality, efficacy, or luxury. With Barrière, protection is a lifestyle.
Q: Any mask design or personal care product recommendations from Barrière for the summer months?
Cleo: Our certified UPF 50+ sun-proof hats are made from 100% recycled materials! These sun hats are my must-have, always-in-the-bag accessory for summer. They offer convenient and effective protection for my scalp, face, and shoulders and eliminate the need to reapply sunscreen while on the go. I keep one in my purse, stashed in its stylish storage bag, ready for action, and I wear it whenever I’m outside running errands, walking my dog, or dining outdoors. The packable construction makes these hats perfect for travel or spending days by the beach or pool, and they look great with everything under the sun.
My summer skincare hero is definitely Debug Mode, the first effective vegan and deet-free moisturizing insect repellent that renders you invisible to mosquitos, ticks, flies, fleas, and gnats. This product is specifically formulated for everyday use, made with plant-powered ingredients, including soybean and geranium essential oils and glycerin. I apply Debug Mode in the summer months as part of my daily skincare routine. In addition to protecting me from a variety of bugs, this all-natural repellent is packed with moisturizing skin soothers that heal and smooth skin while protecting it from pollution and other environmental stressors.