Mask Envy

Saul Sugarman’s Nerdy Fabulous Masks Offer Something for Everyone

From video games to sparkles to artistic collabs, these masks make bold accessories

Sophia Smith
6 min readDec 14, 2020


A person wearing a jeweled face mask posing in a sleeveless dark-purple dress in front of a rainbow mural of Laverne Cox.
Photo courtesy of Saul Sugarman

This story is part of our series Mask Envy, where we showcase San Franciscans’ creativity and take a look at some of the coolest masks spotted around the city. Have a look you want to submit? Email

He’s a journalist. An author. A clothing designer. An events producer. A bejeweled disco-dancing trendsetter. Is there anything San Franciscan Saul Sugarman can’t do?

Unable to do some of his favorite activities — both throwing and attending events across the city — during the pandemic, Sugarman has been occupying himself with other creative pursuits, including pumping out fabulous mask after fabulous mask for his company Sugarman Apparel.

Read on for more about Sugarman.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Hey Saul. Tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from the Sacramento suburbs. I came to San Francisco by way of Hong Kong, where I completed a master’s in journalism; I began my career there for Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.

Most of my hobbies I find ways to monetize into my creative career. For example, I used to spend every Sunday dancing in drag queen D’Arcy Drollinger’s class, Sexitude, which involves a lot of men and women in zebra stretch pants, neon, shiny things, and headbands, dancing to nostalgic dance classics from the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s. That later translated into dancing on the main stage with Drollinger at Pride a few times and dancing in one of his shows. I’d also argue it influenced a lot of my early fashion style in wearing loud and sparkly accessories.

Photos courtesy of Saul Sugarman

I live in “mid” Sunset now (near 18th and Irving) and currently like a good book — up to my eyeballs right now in David Sedaris and Roger Ebert — and long walks. Pre-Covid, I loved throwing fabulous dinner parties and equally loved taking myself…



Sophia Smith

writer and editor // Ⓥ // Heavy weights, heavy music, words of all size