After all, what are shoes, Will.i.am said, but protective equipment for the feet? We’ve just forgotten that was their original purpose because shoes have become a form of self-expression. You could not, he pointed out, “walk into a mall or a restaurant or an airplane without shoes on,” just as you aren’t supposed to walk into any of those places without a mask. “But you don’t have to tell anyone to wear shoes,” he said. Therefore, if you can make a mask serve the same purpose (or multipurpose), you win.