Fashion Revolution

On April 24th, 2013, 1,134 garment workers lost their lives when the Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh.

We’ve been conditioned to think fashion is silly and frivolous, a mindset that severely limits our ability to combat the industry’s ills and effectively address its global impacts. Why do we downplay the effects of a $1.2 trillion dollar industry (or $3 trillion if we include the textile trade)? Within the United States alone, fashion was responsible for $250 billion dollars spent and 1.9 million people employed in 2014. And we still think it’s all about playing dress up? Continue reading

Runways and Growing Pains

Picture this: you are a womenswear buyer for a department store. This month (February), you are traveling to visit each of your vendors’ showrooms to see their new fall collections. Your schedule is completely booked: at each appointment, you discuss business with the other buyers over light refreshments and then take your seat in a well-lit room. Right on schedule, the presentation begins. Models slowly circle through the audience, pausing every so often to showcase the details and features of the clothes they’re wearing. The designer talks about each piece – its construction, materials, and pricing – and takes you through the entire line one-by-one. During the show you take notes and decide which items will work best in your stores. About an hour later, the presentation concludes. You linger afterward to speak with the designer about the inspiration for the line, inspect some embroidery detail on a dress that you thought particularly eye-catching, and ultimately place your order. By Friday, you’re exhausted and ready to head back to your office. All in all, it was a successful week of fashion shows.

Wait a second. Something’s missing…

Where were the celebrities and the paparazzi and the bloggers?

Did you say the designer was there to talk to people?

Why did the show take so long?

Aren’t models supposed to walk fast? Continue reading

Does fashion need to hit the brakes?

Fashion is on the fast track these days, and consumers aren’t the only ones struggling to hang on. Designers feel it too, and some are even opting out.

Raf Simons

Earlier this week, Raf Simons announced his exit from Dior. Yesterday, Alber Elbaz announced his coming departure from Lanvin. All told, it’s been a big week for the fashion industry – but this is part of a much larger trend.

Alber Elbaz Continue reading

You Are What You Wear

Not quite the same as saying “you are what you eat,” but along a similar vein, the clothing you choose to purchase impacts more than just your morning routine of picking out what to wear.

This past week I attended a panel discussion held at The Museum of the City of New York on precisely this subject. Moderated by Ecouterre managing editor Jasmin Malik Chua, the conversation included three individuals who have each embarked on his or her own journey toward creating sustainable fashion. Continue reading