As many personalities have declared from the onset of this unnecessary pandemic, “we are all in this,” although a small group of individuals has caused it, one way or another. Somehow this horrible virus leaked, and no one can so far clearly conclude on who exactly carries the greatest amount of responsibility. The inevitable restriction of freedom that ensued is heavily related to protective measures taken by the governments holding the responsibility to contain this multi-level threat to humanity. Citizens of this world translate social responsibility differently, based on their experience, status, lifestyle, beliefs, and areas of interest.
Fashion designers, among other professionals, saw current adversities as a bitter-sweet opportunity to rectify things that always felt somewhat wrong in the ways they are conducting business, particularly in the production methods and pace. Fashion might have expanded too much, sprinting to produce countless trends very few customers were able to catch up with on time. It was something beyond exuberance, a constant struggle to prove that one is better than the other in Darwinian terms; the survival of the fittest.
Brands were being born every day like we were experiencing a ‘baby boom’ of creativity, while, in fact, most of them were copy-pasting and monetizing trends presented by the real geniuses in the industry. This vicious money-making circle further encouraged cheap-production manufacturing centers to increase the toll on the planet as long as they were benefited financially. Along with the rightfully creative leaders in the market, few brilliant young designers were struggling to make a statement within a savvy, consumerist global community of shoppers who ignored basic ethical matters regarding the sourcing of materials and final products.
Thankfully, fashion’s leading personalities, from their newly normalized, quarantined lives that involved a substantial degree of introspection, seem to be ready to dispatch hope not by just becoming vocal about the problems, but by taking action. Each one of them — 18 influential minds in total — is presented on British Vogue in the Hope Issue which is the prestigious magazine’s latest global initiative, laying down their plans to reboot the industry, educating those lucking sensitivity or knowledge on how things can get more humane from now on. United in the hope for a new responsible attitude, fashion’s superstars send a powerful message and the conviction they will bring sophistication to the fashion process.
Corporate interests and almost an uncivilized, vulgar, profit-making attitude that undermined the intrinsic value of creativity, has brought the fashion industry to the brink of irrelevance, and it is now the crucial moment designers see as a new start. Designers, including high-fashion global brands, are committed to doing their part, slowing down the pace of production, introducing more sustainable methods, reducing the circles and the trends on an annual basis, increasing quality, and as always respecting craftsmanship that is ethical, avoiding to collaborate with factories and facilities that are the causes of pollution, injustice, exploitation, or the results of ongoing political corruption and authoritarianism. Yet, those of you who are loving and buying fashion should also maintain an equally responsible attitude.
Invest in fewer and higher-quality garments and accessories, rewarding those designers and manufacturers who set a great example within society. Avoid fast fashion and check thoroughly the source of each item you are buying. Ask for more information on how each item you are adding to your wardrobe is produced. After all, you don’t need that many things to wear! Just go for the ones that last long like in the good old times. Support local production, handmade products, artisanal superiority, exquisite craftsmanship. Massively produced logos, short-lived trends, ‘it’ bags, and show-offy attitudes belong to the ‘circus of fashion’ as once accurately defined by the ‘best of editors’ Suzy Menkes.
Stand out from the crowd that is trying to prove. Style is inherent, not at all related to the ‘nouveau riche’ attitude of over-spending. This is not how we are going to fill the gap this horrible pandemic created in our souls. I’m so appreciative of this initiative by Vogue because I firmly believe that these designers are serious social thinkers besides their formal roles. Although some of them could have been distracted by the noise of consumerism and the sound of money in their cash machines, they are the first to rethink, reconsider, and touch base with their inner resourcefulness as well as the joy of creating in the first place, giving birth to an idea, suggesting something new, being innovative, mindful, and thoughtful at the same time.
Let’s all check British Vogue and sync our minds to a healthier point of view. We need to remedy what’s sick around the world; humanity cannot tolerate any more ‘idiots’ destroying what enlightened people have done and are trying to do. Fashion is always an expression and reflection of social phenomena and realities, and it seems that it might be quite important to fix wrongdoing in many respects, inspiring the true elegance of culture. Designers paving the way to a better future and appearing in the September issue of British Vogue include Marc Jacobs, John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Virgil Abloh for Off-White and Louis Vuitton, Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Wales Bonner, Pierpaolo Piccioli for Maison Valentino, Miuccia Prada, Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta, Donatella Versace, Riccardo Tisci for Burberry, Olivier Rousteing for Balmain, Samuel Ross for A-Cold-Wall, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, and Rick Owens, photographed in their own abbots. They are not superheroes, just insiders who are well-intended in opening the dialogue. This time we need to discuss the issues, interact and share ideas. Generosity will be the key to a new era.
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Forced from their studios during lockdown, the industry’s most influential designers have been embracing the quietude of home, revelling in a change of pace – and taking the time to rethink the future of fashion itself. In an extensive portfolio that appears in the September 2020 issue of #BritishVogue, discover how 18 of fashion’s brightest stars – from #MarcJacobs to #MiucciaPrada – are using this critical moment as a “line in the sand”. See the full story in the new issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now. And click the link in bio for an exclusive preview #VogueHope Photographed by: @AlessandroFurchinoCapria, @Annie_Powers, @Brett_Lloyd, Danilo Scarpati, @DavidBurtonStudio, @JoshuaWoods, @KarimSadli, @MisanHarriman, Nicolas Newbold, @PatrickFraserStudio, @PaulWetherellStudio and @ThomasLohrStudio.
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From cooking to crafting, life in lockdown made many rediscover the simple pleasures of domestic living. “Absolutely not. Never in my life,” says #DonatellaVersace, dismissing the notion in the September 2020 issue portfolio of fashion’s bold-faced designer names, pictured in their homes. “Dressed down, no hair, no make-up? No, let’s put ourselves together so that our brains stay together.” Click the link in bio to see how Donatella and a host of other designers spent lockdown. #VogueHope Photographed by: @AlessandroFurchinoCapria, @Annie_Powers, @Brett_Lloyd, Danilo Scarpati, @DavidBurtonStudio, @JoshuaWoods, @KarimSadli, @MisanHarriman, Nicolas Newbold, @PatrickFraserStudio, @PaulWetherellStudio and @ThomasLohrStudio.