By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A north Minneapolis entrepreneur is getting rave reviews for his efforts to keep people safe from COVID-19 and Minnesota’s brutal winter.

K.B. Brown is mixing the need to wear a mask with fashion by sewing the mask directly into the hoodie. The design is showing people they can look good while masking up.

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Brown lets his creative juices flow at a print and design shop in north Minneapolis.

“I figured why should I be wearing Nike and Adidas and Rebooks when I can do my own,” said Brown, who loves to wear sports gear.

That was in 2014, when Alpha Wear Apparel was born, but it took a pandemic to force Brown to think outside the box.

“I always forget my mask with this I don’t have to do that I just pull it up,” said Brown.

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“Everybody’s loving it. They are asking for more colors, they are asking for more variety, we have some people who are runners and doing outdoor activities and it’s nice because once they get into a crowd they can just pull it up,” said Katie Brown, K.B.’s wife.

Both K.B. and Katie hope this hoodie-mask combination reminds people to wear a mask and do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“There are so many people in the community who think that it does not exist until they actually catch it, they think it’s a myth. I actually caught it from a friend who thought it was a myth. It’s anything but a myth because I had it and it’s the worst thing in the world,” said K.B. Brown.

They also believe the hoodie is a fashion statement and a way to keep warm during our cold winter months.

“The mask is sewn into the base of the hood so in the winter time especially in Minnesota when it is real cold you get all that air down the front of your hoodie you got to put a jacket on, with this you don’t get that,” Brown said. He hopes to see more people wearing his gear and keeping COVID and cold Minnesota nights at bay.

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Alpha Wear Apparel’s website is getting a workout ever since Brown debuted his hoodie masks along with matching pants and cap.

Reg Chapman