fashioneducation

Update To The Fashion Calendar

Fashion Week Dates for September – October 2024


In a collaborative effort to streamline the workflow, the organizations responsible for New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks have released an update to the fashion calendar. You might wonder why only now. What has changed? 

Having worked in the industry for over 25 years, it was apparent to us that industry leaders operated in isolation. Or we should say, one against the other. Indeed, councils released dates without considering the impact on buyers, showrooms, exhibitors, and everyone in the field who faced the challenge of flying from one city to another on a very tight schedule. The absence of a collaborative approach has always been evident.

What’s new


In a joint statement, the British Fashion Council (BFC), Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) informed they are collaborating on the 2024/25 fashion week dates 2025 for the four major fashion capitals; New York, London, Milan and Paris. 

In order to avoid overlaps and create synchrony for the fashion calendar, the councils have met to set agreements on the start and end dates of each fashion week. Following ongoing discussions between the organisations, the decision aims to benefit the trade audience travelling between the cities as well as the on-schedule designers. So says the press release.

Fashion weeks serve as global showcases for designers, relying on an international presence to amplify the work of participating brands. The councils collectively aim to prioritise the guest experience and ensure that designers receive maximum exposure to the travelling trade audience.

September 2024 womenswear: the new fashion calendar


The below dates have been agreed upon unanimously by the BFC, CNMI, CFDA and FHCM. 

NEW YORK 
Friday 6th September – Wednesday 11th September 

LONDON 
Thursday 12th September (from 5 pm)– Tuesday 17th September (until 12 pm)

MILAN 
Tuesday 17th September (from 3 pm) – Monday 23rd September

PARIS 
Monday 23rd September – Tuesday 1st October 

Conclusion


Eventually, the time has come for the long-overdue update to the fashion calendar. When one fashion week ends, the next can start. Simple, right? So why did it take so long to reach this point?

The fashion industry is complex, involving various groups, activities, and forces. Of course, a collaborative approach is fundamental to achieving the best possible results for everyone involved. But, to give you a sense of how collaborative fashion industry leaders are, consider that it took a pandemic, months of luxury slowdown, and warehouses packed with unsold stock to push them to work in synchrony. 

In other words, as the fashion industry faces collapse, the councils unite. 

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Dior in Court Administration & the Case of Luxury Fashion

Is Luxury Fashion Sustainable and Ethical as They Claim?


Dior in court administration highlights the case of luxury fashion, bringing to light a harsh reality. Luxury brands pride themselves on labelling their products and practices as the only sustainable and ethical fashion. But the truth is way far from that high-standard patina. The reality diverges significantly from the beautiful policies displayed on their websites or the public declarations made during panels, events and fashion shows.

Luxury & sustainability: the image of dedication


Let’s take a step back. In 2019, magazines and millennials applauded Maria Grazia Chiuri for explicitly tackling sustainability. “A topic she’s grappled with privately for some time and that’s becoming a growing focus at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury conglomerate that owns Dior,” you can read on WWD.

The same WWD article notes: “The group recently bought a stake in the Stella McCartney brand, known for its green credentials, and appointed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, founder of the Good Planet foundation, as an advisory board member. LVMH is set to unveil further environmental initiatives at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.”

The news: Dior in court administration


Now, back to the present day. According to Reuters, “an Italian subsidiary of French luxury giant LVMH that makes Dior-branded handbags was placed under court administration on Monday, after a probe alleged it had subcontracted work to Chinese-owned firms that mistreated workers.”

Italian police conducted inspections at four small suppliers operating in the Milan area. The staff lived and worked “in hygiene and health conditions that are below the minimum required by an ethical approach.” Additionally, the workers had to sleep in the workplace to ensure “manpower available 24 hours a day.” Moreover, safety devices had been removedfrom the machinery to allow faster operation.

The current investigation into labour exploitation within Italy’s fashion supply chains is shattering the immaculate image brands use to describe themselves. Indeed, it exposes the connection between luxury brands and sweatshop conditions.

Specifically, this is the Milan court’s third decision this year regarding pre-emptive measures. In April, they accused Giorgio Armani Operations of inadequate supplier oversight. 

However, Reuters has seen a copy of the latest decision: the court stated that prosecutors alleged the rule violations were not isolated incidents among fashion companies operating in Italy, but rather a systematic issue driven by the pursuit of higher profits.

“It’s not something sporadic that concerns single production lots, but a generalised and consolidated manufacturing method,” the document said.

No comment from LVMH. Armani stated that it has always implemented controls to “minimize abuses in the supply chain.” Fun, isn’t it? Is a 3€ per day pay a minimisation of abuses?

More data on investigations here:

Behind the Seams: Fashion Industry & Forced Labour

And here:

Workers’ Rights in the Fashion Industry

The case of luxury fashion


In conclusion, let’s repeat this concept once again: fast fashion and luxury fashion are two faces of the same coin. For different budgets, but operate through the same exploitative pattern of overproduction.

Is luxury fashion sustainable and ethical, as they claim? Not at all. It’s a marketing manipulation. Mass-produced garments made in sweatshop conditions are neither sustainable nor ethical. High-end brands sell a dream, an illusion of luxe. And, If quality is an illusion crafted by marketing, so is luxury. What once was known as luxury fashion isn’t really luxury anymore.

Indeed, luxury fashion has nothing to do with true luxury.

The absence of moral fabric within the industry is evident, and consumers demonstrate disregard by ignoring this issue despite the wealth of available information.

The point is: does it still make sense to support these brands?

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The Environmental Economic Principles Illustrated by Fast Fashion

Delving into Environmental Economics Related to the Most Polluting Segment of the Fashion Industry


This post examines how environmental economic principles manifest in the practices and consequences of the fast fashion industry.

Fast fashion is known for its rapid turnover of trendy clothing at very low prices and has been incorporated more and more in our day-to-day clothing. However, behind the illusion of trendy and cheap pieces, this pressure to minimise costs and speed up production leads to a complex range of environmental and economic implications.

Some of the reasons fast fashion is becoming a progressively bigger issue for the environment include its use of toxic and heap textile dyes, polluting waterways as well as the amount of landfill waste generated by the industry. According to Ting and Stagner (2023), the life cycle of clothing has been constantly shorter, starting from the 1980s. This means that we are using and disposing of clothes faster and faster. As this analysis explores, most of the unused or unwanted pieces end up in a landfill or burned, contributing to climate change. Otherwise, research shows that about 450,000 tonnes of clothes exported from the United States become part of a second-hand clothing trade. That impacts low and middle-income countries.

Fast fashion’s environmental economic principles (full analysis)

Inefficiency of resource extraction

This concept relates to the long and complex supply chain of the market. Starting from agriculture and petrochemical production (for synthetic fibre production, such as the famous polyester) to manufacturing, logistics and retail. Each step of the production of the garments has an impact on the environment due to chemical, energy, material and water use.
In fact, research shows that approximately 60% of clothing is made from petroleum and 30% from cotton. Thus having a large impact on the environment. Additionally, many of these chemicals used in the production of textiles are harmful to both the factory workers, the environment as well as the end consumers ( Niinimäki et al., 2020).
Even though consumers are now aware of the environmental and personal impact of those chemicals, why do they keep on buying these products?

Fast-fashion marketing

Marketing becomes an even stronger tool when brainwashing consumers with the famous concept of “Green Washing.”Greenwashing explains the behaviour of firms when engaging in misleading marketing strategies/ information about their environmental performance or the environmental benefits of a product (Delmas & Burbano, 2011).

Pollution as a negative externality

A negative externality is the imposition of a cost by one party (in this example, a fast fashion firm) onto another. The process of manufacturing the clothes involved in producing the fast fashion items generates significant pollution. This includes air pollution when producing textiles, water pollution from dyeing fabrics and waste generation from packaging. Additionally, the growth of textile fibres, manufacturing and clothing assembly tends to take place in countries with cheaper labour, such as China and Bangladesh. According to Ting and Stagner (2023), there has been such an enormous increase in fast fashion during the past 10 years that firms had to increase supply, increasing the risk of slavery-like working conditions in those middle/low-income countries.

Waste generated

One of the pillars of the increase in fast fashion is the rise in consumerism in society. A world with a culture of over-consumption and rapid disposal of goods will consequently have problems with excessive waste in landfills. When it comes to the textile industry, it is challenging to recycle or biodegrade due to the complex nature of synthetic fibres which are the base for most fast fashion garments. The business model of fast fashion is designed to be unsustainable and by definition. It is “a fast-response system that encourages disposability” (Ting & Stagner, 2023).

Conclusion

In conclusion, all consumers share responsibility for this waste crisis that the fast fashion industry has created. The rapid pursuit of economies of scale in this industry leads to the expense of sustainability, as mass production and global supply chains also allow fashion brands to keep their unsustainable business model. This practice leads to several environmental economic principles, such as negative externalities, resource extraction and depletion, waste disposal and labour exploitation.

In order to address this issue, there is a need for a multifaceted approach that considers all factors such as social, economic and environmental. For instance, sustainable alternatives, circular economy models, ethical fashion practices, and consumer awareness campaigns are essential to mitigate the negative effects of fast fashion on the environment and the people.

References

ABC News In-Depth. (2021, August 12). The environmental disaster fuelled by used clothes and fast fashion | Foreign Correspondent. 

Barnosky, A. Matzke, N., … Tomiya, S. (2011). Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature, (471), 51-57.

CBC News. (2023, October 28). Exposing the secrets of sustainable fashion (Marketplace). 

Niinimäki, K., Peters, G., Dahlbo, H. et al. The environmental price of fast fashion. Nat Rev Earth Environ 1, 189–200 (2020).

Kitson, J. C., & Moller, H. (2008). Looking after your ground: Resource management practice by Rakiura Maori Titi Harvesters. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 161-176.

The Economist. (2018, November 30). The true cost of fast fashion

Ting, T. Z.-T., & Stagner, J. A. (2023). Fast Fashion – wearing out the planet. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 856–866.


✍️ Credit: Post written by Gabriela Preuhs, a Brazilian scholar pursuing studies in economics and psychology at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand.

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The Link Between Freedom and Style

Expressing Identity Through Fashion


Style is a powerful means of expressing one’s freedom. Take, for instance, the latest phase of Jane Birkin’s style, meaning the Doillon phase, when she intentionally stopped being the sexy doll. Her effortless looks have become synonymous with women’s empowerment and liberation. Through her iconic fashion choices, she demonstrated how personal style can transcend societal norms and convey individuality and confidence. Whether a pair of oversized jeans or a mannish blazer, Birkin’s fashion sense speaks volumes about her unique identity and spirit.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – said Coco Chanel.

Through fashion and personal style, individuals can convey their unique identities, preferences, and emotions without the need for words. From the brands we buy – which, by doing so, we endorse and champion their values – to our consumption habits and preferences, the way we dress speaks volumes about us.

Style, self-expression and freedom


In fact, style functions as a form of self-expression and freedom. But how does this happen? Here are a few ways:

  1. Individuality: Style allows people to showcase their unique tastes and personalities. Choosing what to wear and how to wear, it reflects personal choices and independence from societal norms.

  2. Cultural Identity: Through clothing and accessories, individuals can celebrate their heritage and cultural backgrounds. Traditional garments and modern interpretations of cultural attire are both powerful expressions of cultural pride and freedom.

  3. Creative Expression: Fashion is an art form. Mixing and matching different pieces, experimenting with colours, patterns, and textures. But even DIY modifications of clothes are ways to unleash creativity and break free from conventional fashion rules.

  4. Mood and Emotion: What you wear can reflect or influence your mood. Bright colours might express joy or energy, while darker tones could reflect a more subdued or contemplative state. Style is a dynamic way to communicate feelings.

  5. Rebellion and Resistance: Throughout history, fashion has been used to challenge the status quo and make political statements. For example, during the 1960s and 1970s, the punk movement emerged as a rebellious counter-culture, with its fashion characterised by ripped clothing, safety pins, and provocative slogans. This style was a direct challenge to mainstream aesthetics and a form of resistance against social and political norms. Similarly, the black beret and leather jacket became symbols of the Black Panther Party, representing their fight for civil rights and social justice.

  6. Empowerment: Dressing in a way that makes one feel confident and comfortable is empowering. It’s a declaration of self-acceptance and confidence, free from the need to conform to others’ expectations. For instance, the 1980s saw the rise of power dressing among women, characterised by tailored suits with padded shoulders. Power dressing helped women assert their authority and competence in male-dominated environments, making a strong statement about gender equality and self-empowerment.

Style, the essence of fashion


In essence, style is a multifaceted tool of personal expression and a celebration of freedom. It allows individuals to showcase their individuality, celebrate cultural identity, unleash creativity, reflect moods and emotions, challenge societal norms, and feel empowered. Each choice in fashion tells a unique story, making personal style a powerful means of communication.

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The Digital Mirage: When Technology Distorts Reality

Navigating the Fine Line Between Innovation and Illusion


Technology is beautiful, but it often distorts reality. In fact, some advancements are gradually pulling us away from reality, increasing our desire for novelties and making us forget what’s truly real and meaningful. For example, consider NFTs, digital fashion, and digital influencers. None of these concepts have a physical presence, yet they’ve spread their influence across our society. 

But, in the era of digital mirage, can we distinguish between innovation and illusion? 

Technology vs reality: NFTs, digital fashion & digital personas

NFTs
An NFT, or “Non-Fungible Token,” is a digital artwork that can represent a wide range of subjects and sometimes costs millions of dollars. These tokens are bought and sold online, typically using cryptocurrency. Forbes reveals that “Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT for more than $2.9 million.” This is $2.9 million for the equivalent of a screenshot of a Twitter page. For a while, there was a great buzz around NFTs, but these investments are now hitting a downfall because of the uncertainty of the cryptocurrency market. Maybe we are realising that we don’t need to invest in such non-essential items. 

Digital Fashion
Brands like Nike and Ralph Lauren are experimenting with digital fashion. For example, Ralph Lauren’s virtual store allows you to take tours of the different retail locations. This use of AI is beneficial for visualisation and brand development. During my fall semester at the University of South Carolina, retail students were asked to review an app where they created avatars and could buy digital fashion from brands like Prada. Then, the review asked further questions like: “How likely are you to buy digital fashion?” I answered no, as I could not understand the concept of purchasing digital fashion. We don’t need three-quarters of the physical items we buy, let alone digital ones.

Lil Miquela: digital personas to drive consumerism
Lil Miquela is a famous AI influencer on Instagram with 2.6 Million followers. She posts frequently and can be seen “traveling” to places like Coachella. Not only does she travel, but she discusses politics and collaborates with brands like BMW and Chanel. However, do not be fooled by these digital personas, as they are simply sophisticated marketing tools designed to get society to buy, buy, buy. 

Come back to earth


Despite technology bringing positive innovations, we are facing a digital mirage that distorts reality. Do not get too lost in technology; most of it is propaganda or more marketing schemes. Remember, the main driving force of the world is profit. Everything is for profit, and brands aim to control your lifestyle, turning consumers into mere robots of consumption. So avoid these superficial distractions and come back to reality. Return to the basics and make mindful purchases that align with your genuine needs.


✍️ Credit: Post written by Joelle Elliott, an American scholar pursuing studies in Fashion at Cattolica University in Milan; currently interning with suite123.

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