Nga Ngyuen's NGA Is A Journey from Fashion's Patient Zero to Chic PPE

by Rudy Sanchez on 04/06/2021 | 2 Minute Read

At the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there wasn’t much thought given to the design of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Getting enough for frontline medical staff was difficult enough, much less for the rest of the world. But as time stretched on and the prospect of the pandemic being a momentary inconvenience waned, designers started looking for ways to improve items like hand wipes, sanitizer spray, and face masks.

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Vietnamese entrepreneur, heiress, and socialite Nga Ngyuen was an early high-profile victim of COVID, testing positive during a trip to fashion shows in Italy and France. Folks quickly dubbed Nguyen and her sister fashion’s “patient zeros” of the pandemic, facing scrutiny at home and abroad, with critics faulting their jet-setting lifestyle for the spread of the coronavirus. After recovering, Ngyuen partnered with studio Layer to create the product brand Never Go Alone (NGA).

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NGA’s products elevate PPE to form and function. Useful features such as through-holes and loops get designed into the sanitizer sprayer, and wipes holders allow users to carry their PPE in different ways like attached to bags or as a lanyard. The face mask, drawing inspiration from athleisure, comes in multiple pieces, and a seamless knit construction incorporates a replaceable filter. The ear loops can also get customized with different colors to keep that COVID shine right.

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Colors are neutral, and the logo is a subtle arch, and bright orange adds a touch of flair to the sand and stone-dominated palette. The arch looks like a rounded N, giving the brand a fancy letter mark. Best of all, however, is that the line of hand sanitizers and wipes are refillable, bringing sustainability to a category filled with single-use plastic waste.

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Inspiration for NGA may have come after being an early, high-profile victim of COVID, but it shows that PPE doesn’t have to be clinical or look like medical devices to hold back the pandemic. NGA candles are available now, with other products rolling out soon.

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