Fashinnovation Worldwide Talks 2020 – “Fashion is to Love” : Agents of Change

 

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Mara Hoffman, Spring RTW Collection

Founders of Fashinnovation, husband and wife team Jordana and Marcelo Guimaraes have been bridging the gap between the fashion and technology industries. By creating multi-media platforms, innovators come together to discuss and share ideas that have global impact.

With over 80 speakers and 25 panels engaged in “Fashinnovation Worldwide Talks 2020,” April 20 and 21, a two day summit supported by the UN Office for Partnerships, Pynck brings a synopsis of the discussions of many of these important industry leaders to you.

Within this article, we will be reporting on the comments and thoughts of some of the most progressive leaders in the fashion industry.

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Designer Mara Hoffman

An acknowledged pioneer in the pursuit of sustainable fashion, award winning Mara Hoffman, originally from Buffalo, N.Y., founded her label in 2000 after graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York City.  She is an active member of the CFDA. The innovative swimwear and fashion designer decided to be the change in 2015. She states that her company’s aim is “to design and manufacture our clothes with greater care, reduce our impact and generate awareness.”

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Mara Hoffman Freya dress RTW 2020

“Begging dinosaurs to evolve is not the answer. We have to start thinking about creating a new world. In fashion manufacturing, we haven’t gotten it right yet. We all need to offer merchandise produced with climate beneficial yarns and materials. Currently, sustainable clothing is so privileged and exclusive. We need to make sustainable clothing the norm, so prices can come down. We can’t think about “going back to normal.” Throw that out the window. We need to recreate a new world and we can do that with female leadership.” –Mara Hoffman.

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Mara Hoffman, Leila dress

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Susan Rockefeller

Susan Rockefeller is a lifelong environmentalist, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, conservationist, jewelry designer and Editor-in-Chief of Musings magazine and that’s just scratching the surface. Susan was the moderator for the panel discussion, “Fashion is the New Paradigm of Personal Choice in a Time of Urgency.”

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Climate change artist Claire Milner featured in Musings magazine

“There’s no better designer than nature and Mother Earth is suffering. We don’t have to be toxic to be chic. The fashion industry produces 240 tons of CO2 emissions per year. That amount can light up Times Square for 56 years. In one word, it’s about urgency. The dangerous issue of our time is climate change. It’s time to hit the global re-set button and decide what we really need and what we desire. What is your decision going to be?” –Susan Rockefeller.

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Atelier Swarovski earrings from the Beautiful Earth collection by Susan Rockefeller. Proceeds benefit The Nature Conservancy.

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Burak Cakmak, Parsons School of Design Dean of Fashion

An expert in the field of sustainable design, socially conscious partnerships and environmental responsibility, Burak Cakmak has been a leader in socially responsible and conscious fashion for over 20 years.

“This crisis forces people to think in a positive way. The same players won’t be in place when this pandemic is over. We need a new system with new players who will introduce new solutions. Large brands don’t have experience with this, whereas smaller brands and start-ups are more flexible. We’re not going back to where it was.“ –Burak Cakmak.

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Julie Gilhart, a celebrated fashion industry veteran is the Chief Development Officer and Executive Board Member at Tomorrow London Ltd. She works toward creating, connecting and growing fashion businesses with a positive impact. She is a passionate advocate of conscious consumerism.

“Our whole world has turned upside down and fashion took a nose-dive. We now know we have to rebalance. We need to have a material revolution and produce clothing with materials grown in a lab that does not damage the planet.

Pete Nordstrom once said, “We don’t sell what people need, we sell what people want.” –Julie Gilhart.

Perhaps now, during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and home isolation, where even the most basic of supplies are unavailable to many households, we’ve had time to consider what we really need versus what we thought we wanted. We as consumers have the power to tell the retailers what we want. It’s time to create that list.

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Oskar Metsavaht

Brazilian Oskar Metsavaht is a world leader in the work toward a sustainable future. Trained as a physician, he is a designer, artist and founder of the fashion brand Osklen. He works tirelessly as an advocate of biodiversity and environmental issues. He was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in May 2011 for his work toward a culture of global peace. His fashion brand Osklen’s principles of sustainability are – ASAP (“as sustainable as possible, as soon as possible.”)

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Osklen, Spring 2020 RTW, credit: vogue.com

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Osklen, Spring 2020 RTW, credit: vogue.com

“What’s going on now is about respect. We don’t have good manners toward the planet or to nature. We have to change the way we educate our global society. We strive to capture the imagination with fashion; we use it as a tool to change our way of thinking, to change behavior.“ -Oskar Metsavaht

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Sarah Willersdorf, credit: beautyandwellbeing.com

Sarah Willersdorf, Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group Inc. is the go-to luxury brand consultant to the world’s most important high end brands.

“Global sales of luxury brands are down between 500 to 625 billion dollars, with huge excesses of inventory. But out of crisis comes opportunity. Better inventory planning will include sustainable materials, an acceleration of digital commerce and a better use of A.I. If we decide to, we can use our minds differently to create change.” –Sarah Willersdorf.

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Diane von Fürstenberg, credit: WWD

Diane von Fürstenberg, doyenne of the fashion industry and perhaps the luminary most associated with fashion as a global business was the keynote speaker for this forum. She spoke with Imran Amed, founder and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion.

“Now that the world has stopped, we should take this time to revisit our priorities. Time is a currency and if you can use it to be a better person, then it’s a gift. The whole world was geared in one direction and that direction was obsolete. Now each one of us has to decide to follow a better direction, but you first have to be truly honest with yourself. The old rules no longer apply.” – Diane von Fürstenberg.

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Imran Amed, globally considered as the oracle of style, credit: BOF

“This crisis forces us to innovate. People need to find their own path. Focus on what you can control.”

The conclusion? How we spend our time in quarantine matters. Our decisions and our choices will decide the fate of our planet and future of humanity. Our one Earth we share and our fellow humans deserve some TLC. If we join together, we can all be the change toward the greater good.

 

Diane Weisbeck

Diane Weisbeck is a native New Yorker. A luxury lifestyle content writer, Diane was a retail buyer for Lord & Taylor’s flagship store, a product design/developer for Saks Fifth Avenue’s corporate office and a Director of Retail for major museums and high end retailers. She assists global luxury brands with their marketing and brand strategies and is also a Fair Trade corporate art consultant.

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