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Australia has a rich tradition and appreciation of Indigenous art, and the National Museum of Australia(NMA) is hoping to spearhead a similar reverence for Indigenous fashion design.

Featuring the work of Indigenous artists and designers from the inner city to remote desert art centres, Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion celebrates Australia’s leading First Nations creatives.

The exhibition was curated by Bendigo Art Gallery’s First Nations Curator, Kaantju woman Shonae Hobson, and brings together around 60 works by creators and brands including Grace Lillian Lee, Lyn-Al Young, Lisa Waup x Verner, Hopevale Arts and Culture Centre, MAARA Collective, the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, AARLI Fashion and LORE.

Peggy Griffiths, Delany Griffith, Anita Churchill, Cathy Ward, Kelly-Anne Drill, Legacy Dress.

The NMA is hosting the Bendigo Art Gallery’s exhibition as part of a national tour.

National Museum of Australia Director Dr Mathew Trinca said: “We are delighted to bring this extraordinary exhibition to Canberra for people in this region to enjoy. It will provide a joyful start to 2021 as one of the key celebrations during the Museum’s 20th anniversary year and an exquisite showcase of exciting new work from rising stars in Indigenous fashion design.”

The Swayn Senior Fellow in Australian Design at the National Museum, Adrienne Erickson, said “The Swayn Foundation is very excited to support Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion as our first design-focused exhibition at the National Museum, and we hope the start of a strong partnership in presenting Australian design exhibitions and events at the National Museum.”

Grace Rosendale Seed Pod top and pants

Adrienne acknowledged that Indigenous fashion had yet to find the same level of appreciation and value as Indigenous art, but that was changing.

“Indigenous fashion is very much about slow fashion, not mass production, not targeting any demographic or market in particular. It really is an expression of the artists and designers about their connection to country and the stories they want to tell,” she said.

“With time and development of skill and ideas, fashion and design will become a popular way of expressing stories and connection to country. Indigenous fashion from communities in remote and regional areas is becoming an economically sustainable form of self reliance, using materials that are readily at hand, as well as upcycling and adaptable reuse. It’s not about taking over the fashion industry but becoming a new cultural movement of itself.”

Adrienne said the exhibition showcased garments that would appeal to all ages and backgrounds—from the monochromatic, urban, unisex geometry of Lisa Waup, to the soft and muted, hand-sewn sculptural pieces of Trudy Inkamala who hand-paints birds and native wildlife on her garments.

Curator Shonae Hobson said Indigenous fashion was not a ‘trend’ but an important movement that had put Indigenous voices and artistic expression at the centre of the global fashion agenda.

Piinpi is an expression that Kanichi Thampanyu (First Nations people from the East Cape York Peninsula) use to describe changes in the landscape across time and space.

The exhibition explores the way understandings of Country and culture are reflected in and inspire contemporary Indigenous textile and fashion design. Some highlights include pieces by Gunnai, Wiradjuri, Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta woman Lyn-Al Young which are hand-painted using ancient techniques, a possum skin cloak made by Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta Elder Rodney Carter, woven pandanus hats and accessories created by Margaret Malibirr, Mary Dhapalany and Evonne Munuyngu from Bula’bula Arts in East Arnhem Land in collaboration with Yuwaalaraay woman Julie Shaw, creator of the luxury resort-wear line MAARA Collective, and the inaugural Indigenous Designer of the Year 2019. These pieces take inspiration from the Australian landscape and were a major hit at the Country to Couture runway event at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair in 2019.

Anindilyakawa Arts. Photo Anna Reynolds

There are also several highly-sculptured pieces by Grace Lillian Lee, including A Weave of Reflection (2018). Grace is a descendant of the Meriam Mir people of the Eastern Islands of the Torres Strait, and creates wearable art pieces using techniques taught to her by artist Uncle Ken Thaiday.

Teagan Cowlishaw’s sparkly Deadly Kween jumpsuit, made from upcycled materials including a remnant cushion, a faulty ‘deadly’ T-shirt and aqua metallic gold lustre vinyl print. A proud Bardi and Ardyaloon visual artist, Teagan creates custom garments using dead stock and discarded materials, seeing recycling as a way of paying respect to her Ancestors by committing to sustainability and preservation of Country for the next generation.

The exhibition is free and runs until August 8.

Main image: Grace Lillian Lee, Body Armour – A Weave of Reflection Pink and Orange.

The Essentials

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion exhibition opens in Canberra on April 21 and runs until August 8. Entry is free.
Where: The National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent Acton Peninsula

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Emerging foggy-eyed after a year spent indoors, you don’t have to look far to notice—mushrooms are sprouting everywhere. Whether it’s a reishi-infused serum to calm dry skin, lion’s mane drops under the tongue to boost immunity or chaga coffee to curb quarantine fatigue—the humble fungus has never been so fashionable. The mushroom market is anticipated to reach a value of over $50 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, as people increasingly turn to nature for solutions to our late-stage pandemic needs. While some are ingesting mushrooms to support their bodies, others are wearing mushrooms to support the planet—literally.

Today marks the launch of Adidas’ Stan Smith Mylo—the first shoe of its kind to be made with a mushroom-based material. Keeping in line with their sustainable ethos, Adidas has chosen their most famed shoe to make an environmental statement; the innovative renewable material was used to create the classic three stripes, heel tab overlay and signature branding the shoe is known for.

It’s the latest use of Mylo, a mushroom-based material developed by biotechnology company Bolt Threads. Grown in a lab designed to replicate the forest floor, Mylo is developed from mycelium—the underground roots of mushrooms—to create a foamy mat that can then be finished in a variety of patterns, colors and textures, according to Jamie Bainbridge, the vice president of product development at Bolt Threads. The result is a flexible, breathable fabric that feels remarkably similar to animal leather.

The successful shoe application of the mushroom leather is largely thanks to the Mylo consortium: a partnership established in October of last year between Bolt Threads and Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Kering (the French luxury group behind Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci). “It’s been a very unusual experiment, to gather four partners and say, ‘come along with us on a journey of development,’” Bainbridge tells Forbes. “The great thing about it, is that if I need to understand how this material will be used in shoe-making, I have a partner who makes shoes who I can call and we talk about the specifications of the material.”

By having the brands just a phone call away, Bolt Threads has been able develop the new Stan Smith specifically for the needs of Adidas’ clientele. “The needs of a handbag are very different from the needs of a shoe,” Bainbridge tells Forbes. “We’re supposed to take 10,000 steps a day—that means each one of your shoes has been flexed 10,000 times in a day.”

It’s this collaborative process that is enabling Mylo to turn science into fashion. They’ve been doing it with Stella McCartney since 2017, when they first began developing the mushroom-based Falabella bag, which premiered a year later at the V&A Fashioned from Nature exhibition in London. Last month Stella McCartney released the world’s first garment made of Mylo: a sensual-yet-athletic black top and utilitarian trouser, featuring the mushroom leather laid on recycled nylon scuba. The luxury house known for its planet-friendly approach is setting the stage for other fashion brands to follow suit. Hermès recently released a bag made from reishi fine mycelium while Allbirds has announced plans to develop a new shoe using ‘leather’ derived from rubber tree sap.  

While there has been a “flurry of activity in the alternative leather space,” according to Bainbridge, up until recently, plant-based leathers have largely been limited to the world of high-end fashion. The biggest hurdle to making mushroom material mainstream? Bringing the product to scale. “Every time you go up in scale, you have big equipment changes, and that changes the proportions of the mixture, it changes everything about the dynamics of the material,” says Bainbridge. “You basically learn to make it over again at each scale.”

Having committed partners on board seems to be a key ingredient to bringing mushroom leather to the masses. “Now we have a production facility, we’re getting to the point where we have large-scale production very soon,” says Bainbridge. The vice president is optimistic that the Adidas launch marks the beginning of that expansion, “This product that we’re revealing to the public is going to set the stage for taking it into a commercial product, Adidas is very clear that they will not show a product that they don’t have a line of sight for making in the near future,” Bainbridge says.

But even if major retailers can create fabric made of fungi, will consumers buy it? “I’ve spent a career developing materials and I’ve never seen a material with this much pull, I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Bainbridge. Amidst a fashion industry increasingly concerned with its environmental footprint, it’s no surprise mushroom leather would draw interest. Compared to animal leathers, which consume significant amounts of natural resources in the year they take to produce, Mylo is produced in two weeks. And while there are plenty of non-animal leather alternatives available, most are made of plastic—mycelium-based textiles involve regenerative growing methods and contain less petrochemicals than their synthetic counterparts.

“The planet can’t go on the way it has been,” Bainbridge tells Forbes. “You’re seeing it in every subject matter around sustainability—whether it’s climate change or carbon footprint—the public is gaining an understanding that they’ve got to change their ways.” If there was ever a moment for mushroom leather to take off, it would be now, as consumers become increasingly conscious about their impact. “There’s an understanding the world has gained in the last year of being locked up that perhaps we can’t go about business as usual,” says Bainbridge.

But mushrooms are not just peaking interest as a material source, they’re popping up in designs too. From button mushroom Chanel earrings to soft-edged fungi-shaped lamps to Bella Hadid’s mushroom-engraved leather bag, mushrooms have become the go-to motif of the past year. “Fungi are having a moment, there’s popular culture around it,” says Bainbridge.

After a year spent indoors, it makes sense that people are flocking to this symbol of nature. “We are at a moment of deep climate crisis and are very separated from our relationship to nature,” says Francesca Gavin, curator of Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi, which exhibited early last year at the Somerset House in London. When asked if the trend is explained by a romanticization of nature, Bainbridge agrees, “It’s staggering to watch what has happened to people’s thinking around being outside, it’s a whole new awareness for a lot of people.”

Feeling powerless in the face of the pandemic, it’s no surprise people are embracing one of nature’s most resilient and self-sustaining organisms; one that symbolizes immortality. “Without fungi all ecosystems would die,” Gavin tells Forbes. “Fungi provide a beautiful example of the fascinating importance of nature for human life to flourish.”

But perhaps the fungi frenzy is about more than connecting to nature, and represents a larger desire to find comfort in our shared humanity. “Whether it’s trying to survive the pandemic together, seeing nature through a new lens, I think we’re all a little more connected these days,” says Bainbridge. Gavin echos this statement, “Mushrooms provide a contemporary metaphor for new ways of thinking and living in a more positive way with nature, they show how living in symbiosis with the world around us is the only route for survival.”

For fashion designers and sustainable textile producers that connection means embracing the presence of competition. Aside from Bolt Threads, Ecovative and MycoWorks are producing mycelium-based leathers too. But Bainbridge sees their fellow mushroom material-makers as united in the pursuit of a greener planet, “We’re glad to see others playing in the space too, there’s room for a lot of people, it makes each one of us stronger.”

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HE is Emanuela Holder, a German fashion designer based in Berlin, who, unlike many fashion designers in the field, has followed an unconventional academic and professional trajectory. Her Business and Anthropology background has cultivated, nurtured, and strongly influenced the creative path into fashion design over many years. HE was established in December 2019 and designs mainly for women (though limited pieces for men are also available). Our main incentive is to strive for an inclusive, respectful, and sustainable approach during the entire cycle of design, development, and production.

HE creates and manufactures dresses, t-shirts, shorts, pants, jackets, cardigans and coats using high-end dark and silver fabrics. Most of them are natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or wool, locally sourced from Germany and EU and often part of available dead-stock. HE is very keen on supporting and promoting high sustainability standards. Each piece of garment is available in only few, common sizes, and only in low quantities. Customization, as well as free repairs during the first six months of purchase, are intrinsic attributes that also define the slow avant-garde fashion brand.

HE aims at maintaining in-house, handcrafted, production. The small quantities that are on stock mean that each garment is endowed with singular quality and character. Upscaling the manufacturing process is not part of the agenda of HE.

HE stands for original slow fashion inspired by the avant-garde, as well as a sustainable lifestyle. The interaction of each piece of garment with our unique bodies, and the storytelling that unfolds from this encounter, has been the main focus and motivation for the vocational shift from research to practice; from passion to profession. HE aims to raise more awareness for the expressive power our bodies carry through the garment that we consciously or unconsciously choose to wear on a daily basis. The wearer is encouraged to select pieces of garment that not only fulfill a pragmatic function, but instill confidence, support individuality and make a statement in a designated environment. The color black dominates most HE collections, as in most situations it is the right one to wear. Simultaneously inclusive and exclusive, casual and chic, black is extremely versatile and rich in nuance. Asymmetric shapes in combination with various high-end fabrics invite the wearer to play with style and movement, while discovering new ways of expression and being.

Despite fashion having an intrinsically exclusive character, HE aspires to design pieces that are not intimidated by societal and cultural boundaries, while maintaining a timeless character of elegance.

Read more about HE on the brandpage:

Photo credits: HE/Steffen Junghanß

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Chloë Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Julianne Moore and Indya Moore star in Jim Jarmusch’s Saint Laurent short, ‘French Water’.

The fashion film showcases the French fashion house’s Women’s Summer 2021 collection.

The nine-minute clip sees ‘Big Lebowski’ star Julianne and filmmaker-and-model Chloë look for English-French actress Charlotte at an empty venue at the end of a dinner party.

The guests – who go through multiple outfit changes – are served water by a waiter played by actor-and-model Leon Reilly – the son of screen legend John C. Reilly.

Saint Laurent CEO Anthony Vaccarello also served as art director for the film.

A description read: “The dinner party is over.

“A lone waiter is watching guests search for Charlotte.

“The echoes of their whispers multiply. Anthony Vaccarello chose Jim Jarmusch to orchestrate a dreamy, surreal ballet, following his own rules.

“Mysterious, elusive Charlotte keeps disappearing and reappearing. Tangled until creating a form of vertigo, space and time spin beautifully. Into eternity.”

The latest short from Saint Laurent follows December’s short promo by Argentine filmmaker Gaspar Noé.Charlotte Rampling starred as a “mysterious and haunted priestess in the ‘Summer of ’21’ film.

The 75-year-old actress appeared alongside a number of high fashion models.

The film started in a grand estate with the likes of Anok Yai, Antonia Przedpelski, Assa Baradji, Aylah Mae Peterson, Clara Deshayes, Grace Hartzel, Kim Schell, Mica Arganaraz, Miriam Sanchez, Sora Choi and Stefania Cristian, wandering through the eerie mansion dressed head-to-toe in garments from the collection.

They then gathered in a theatre-like setting in front of a stage before a haunted Charlotte appeared before their eyes in a bed of rose petals.

A press release at the time stated: “A familiar and timeless feeling. Dreaminess and tension, decadence and danger. The unsettling strangeness of those girls gravitating around Charlotte Rampling, the mysterious and haunted priestess.”

It followed Gaspar’s first short film for Saint Laurent ‘Lux Aeterna’ which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

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LONDON — Is the third time a charm?

The U.K. on Monday came out of its third — and strictest — lockdown, which had seen hospitality, nonessential retail — and even sitting on a bench with another person — restricted since last December.

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But with fast vaccination rollouts and a dramatic drop in cases — there had been an average of 249 cases and three deaths a day in Greater London over the past week — it looks like Britons are ready to press restart.

While much of the excitement has been around the reopening of outdoor pubs — the U.K.’s most-treasured hangouts — fashion retailers have also pulled out all stops to welcome shoppers, and kickstart the recovery of the country’s high streets.

Pop-ups, flashy banners, new al fresco restaurants and design concepts all sent an optimistic message: In-person experiences and the brick-and-mortar store might be forever changed, but they’re here to stay.

The excitement on the streets was palpable from Day One, with crowds gathering outside stores ranging from Harrods and Chanel to Brandy Melville and Nike; shop assistants polishing countertops; parents and children waiting at the barbers to get a haircut, and people having breakfast and lunch at outdoor tables.

In central London, Liberty mounted a giant bright pink banner that read “Come On In,” while on Regent Street children are often spotted dancing outside the city’s famous toy store, Hamleys, which blasts music and covers its entrance in foam bubbles. Dover Street Market’s reopening was buzzing, too, and filled with longtime clients and their families.

The store features a special installation from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus spring 2021; Vans x DSM Checkerboard specials; a new space for designer Craig Green; Raf Simons’ spring 2021 debut women’s collection, and a dedicated Givenchy installation. The store’s Rose Bakery is open for takeout meals.

At the Westfield mall, lines of shoppers have been snaking around stores including Zara, Apple, Nike, Primark, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The site in west London has been busier than it would have ever been on typical weekdays, with teenagers — still on Easter break from school — wandering around, shopping bags and bubble teas in hand.

There are plenty of lines on Oxford and Bond Streets, too, from younger shoppers waiting outside Primark and JD Sports to luxury fanatics crowding outside Chanel, Hermès and Cartier.

Jia Wang, a Chinese student who traveled from Coventry to London on Monday morning to wait outside Hermès on Bond Street, said she was looking to buy a Picotin bag, as the style is usually sold out very quickly online. She was also planning to check out Chanel later in the day, arguing that “it’s a bargain” to purchase Chanel bags in the U.K., because they’re cheaper here than in China.

The new Browns also drew a sizeable crowd on reopening day, keen to check out the smartly renovated space and enjoying food and drinks provided by Native, the restaurant and café in the store’s courtyard.

On King’s Road, two teenagers, Gaby and Vi, rushed outside Brandy Melville early Monday. They said they were eager to socialize, shop and “see what things feel like, try them on.”

Nearby, on Sloane Street, Emilia Wickstead and her team were spiffing up the window displays and merchandising at the designer’s store. “It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for,” said Wickstead. “I’m shopgirl, and designer-in-residence today.” She said the store had already pre-booked a series of appointments, and was expecting walk-ins, too. Next week, they’ll be restarting in-person bridal appointments.

Men’s beach wear brand Love Brand & Co., another Chelsea resident, also debuted a new concept, adding a coffee garden and art exhibition to the store. It will now offer travel books, eco-conscious sun cream, ethically made chocolate, art and coffee to complement its beach wear ranges. Online travel-related purchases were up 300 percent this month according to the brand, which is building on the momentum by redesigning the store “to answer a holiday need in every corner.”

As for Cadogan Estates, which owns and manages a lot of those Sloane Street properties, they even went as far as to commission poet Ella Frears to write a poem that celebrates the joy and freedom of in-person shopping, to join in the reopening celebrations.

There have been some new openings, too: On King’s Road, the direct-to-consumer brand Dai opened a space, with the stories of its sustainable textiles or the accomplishments of its customers told across its walls and multiple in-store installations, while its basement was designed to double as a workout studio.

French couture jewelry specialist Goossens — part of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art group of artisanal brands — opened its first store outside Paris, in Mayfair’s Burlington Gardens. The light, airy space is filled with gold accents and it will stock the house’s classic pieces, as well as seasonal spring 2021 ranges.

The buzzy Covent Garden area saw five new openings, including jewelers Bucherer, Sacred Gold and Vashi; contemporary handbag label Strathberry and outerwear label Arc’teryx, while 800 outdoor dining seats, a weekly street food festival and an ongoing program of art installations and outdoor performances is being laid out to keep shoppers entertained and engaged.

Savile Row tailors are putting on a two-week Theatre of Craft, which will allow passersby to watch the craftspeople at work through the stores’ windows: Walking down the east side of the famous street, one can watch the process of creating a garment from scratch. On the west side of the street, artisans are demonstrating the process of repairing a suit.

In this post-lockdown world, brands are making it clear they are ready to take on a new approach to retail that’s less about the transaction or gimmicky experience and more about collaboration and the social aspect of shopping.

Stella McCartney plans a series of pop-ups scheduled to take over her Bond Street flagship, ranging from floral studio Flwr to the healthy eatery Farmacy, which will be offering takeout food, to Hackney Coffee Roasters Climpson & Sons serving coffee. Face Gym and Dr. Barbara Sturm will be offering in-store beauty appointments.

Friends of the brand — Sean Lennon, Neneh Cherry and Grimes — have also curated a new playlist for the store, while filmmaker Alice Aedy will be streaming live discussions from the store on the label’s Instagram.

“We are handing over space to our #StellaCommunity friends. This is the start of a new global rollout — that sees Stella McCartney stores around the world become a hub for our #Stellacommunity, giving them space to connect, collaborate and create,” said the brand.

Selfridges enlisted sustainable label Pangaia — whose colorful tracksuits were popular during lockdown — to take over its Corner Shop and asked SoulCycle to open an outdoor workout studio behind its Oxford Street flagship.

“We have been connecting with and listening to our customers and we understand what they have been missing — experiences and inspiration. Whether it’s a new outfit to wear for that first dinner with friends this year, the shared experience of group exercise or simply coming into the store to be inspired by Good Nature in person — people are daring to dream again. It’s our job to make the world brighter through everything our stores and our digital channels have to offer,” said Andrew Keith, Selfridges’ managing director.

Upon reopening, a Selfridges salesperson told WWD that the store never really stopped selling to its customers during lockdown via messaging apps. Now that the physical store is open, though, walk-in customers are expected to bring in more business, and the reopening will also encourage those who prefer to try on items to spend more liberally.

Harrods turned its focus to fashion, with pop-ups by Hermès, Givenchy and Loewe all coinciding with the store’s big reopening. Hermès opened a dedicated boutique of women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories — the first of its kind outside its own boutiques — while Givenchy unveiled a space designed by Matthew Williams in collaboration with artist Ewan Macfarlane in the men’s department. Loewe debuted the latest iteration of its Paula’s Ibiza range. Later this week, the luxury accessories brand Au Départ will open a corner at Harrods.

On Monday, there were long lines outside Harrods’ many doors: “I’ve been working with a Harrods virtual shopper these last few months and have had clothing delivered to me, but now I can’t wait to actually browse and see the items in-store — seeing is believing,” said Charlie Chang, who was waiting outside the Knightsbridge store.

Another Harrods shopper, Jude Edri, said he was planning to pick up a pair of Chanel sneakers that were only available in-store. Two other shoppers-cum-resellers, Euan and Jeffrey, said they were hoping to pick up Nike Air Jordans and Yeezy sneakers. “It’s easier to buy them in-store rather than online,” they said.

With the majority of consumption set to continue taking place digitally, “identifying and meeting [these] new in-store expectations” is where the growth opportunity lies, according to McKinsey & Company’s senior partner Eric Hazan. “Seventy-two percent of consumers have changed stores, brands, or the way they shop. And many of these behaviors appear set to stay.”

Launch Gallery: London Re-Opens It’s Stores After COVID-19 Lockdown

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Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has spoken of Zampatti’s final week at St Vincent’s Hospital, adding he suspects the choirs of angels “are about to get new uniforms”.

“Her fall at the opening night of La Traviata poignantly took place amidst the high art and beauty she had long loved and promoted,” he said.

“It also took place as the world turned its annual gaze to a young man’s death. Like the faithful few gathered around the cross, Carla’s family kept watch by her hospital bed.

“She died on Holy Saturday, as Christ was harrowing hell only hours before the proclamation that He had risen from the dead.

“She moved then, not into the grim limbo of ancient nightmares but to the bright stage lighting of eternal life. Meeting her risen Lord face to face.”

He said the readings at the state funeral resonated with the story of Italian-born Zampatti.

“The breadth and inclusiveness of salvation speaks to a great theme of Carla’s life,” he said.

“That a nine-year-old girl could arrive from Italy with no English and limited education and rise to great heights in this country, joining millions of other newcomers in enriching our shores while enjoying its opportunities.”

Carla Zampatti at home in the 70s with her young son Alex.Credit:

The archbishop said she was a “brave spirited woman”, leaving school at 14 to go to work and separating from her first husband Leo Schuman in 1969 while pregnant with their son, Alexander.

“The single mother courageously built her own fashion house from scratch,” he said.

“Carla’s determination, even defiance, in a world where women were presumed to be the weaker sex … once again echoes the Easter story.

“It was the women who first saw the empty tomb and the risen Lord. It was the women who first announced Christ risen.”

Archbishop Fisher said he was always struck by Zampatti’s intelligence, charm and grace each time her met her at the Sydney Catholic Business Network.

“None of us knows what Carla said to her creator upon her return to him. Though I suspect the choirs of angels are about to get new uniforms,” he said, to which laughs rang out in the cathedral.

He said the 78-year-old died “only after wowing us one last time” with an elegant appearance at the opera.

“It was fitting that it was opera on the harbour. Popular and accessible,” he said. “For she was not all haute couture but for beauty: for women in every walk of life.”

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The Reds were unable to turn around the two-goal deficit from their first-leg defeat against Real Madrid as they played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield

Match statistics: Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid

In the end it was a bridge too far, even for Liverpool.

There was to be no Anfield miracle for Jurgen Klopp’s men. For the second season running they exit the Champions League at the hands of a team from Madrid, having failed to overturn a first-leg deficit on home soil.

For Atletico 2020, read Real 2021.

Liverpool huffed and they puffed, but they simply could not blow the house down. It finished 0-0 on the night, the Reds eliminated courtesy of that costly 3-1 defeat in the Spanish capital eight days ago.

That was where the damage was done. How Klopp will regret the way his side started that game; passive, nervous, disorganised. How he will rue the way, having clawed their way back into the tie through Mohamed Salah’s away goal, they ceded control so quickly.

A 2-1 loss was manageable, but 3-1 was a killer, especially with no 12th man to roar them on back at Anfield.

So it proved, with Real able to withstand the inevitable second-leg onslaught, and Liverpool unable to convert dominance into goals.

They had a right go, at least. Their performance was levels above the one we saw in Madrid – although it had to be, in all fairness. Klopp could not fault his players’ effort, their belief or their heart.

Their finishing, though? That’s another matter entirely.

The chances came, especially in the first half, but none were taken. Goals have been at a premium at Anfield of late, and they could not find one here, let alone two.

Their finishing was poor, with Salah and Gini Wijnaldum guilty of bad misses before the break. Wijnaldum, in particular, will have nightmares about his.

Salah drew a save from Thibaut Courtois inside the opening three minutes when he might have done better, and the former Chelsea goalkeeper was at his very best soon after, saving at full-stretch from James Milner, whose 25-yarder appeared destined for the top corner.

Liverpool’s desire was there, their pressing sharp and their aggression clear. Milner, selected surprisingly ahead of Thiago Alcantara in midfield, set the tone in the opening seconds, smashing into Karim Benzema firmly but fairly. Message sent.

Real struggled at times during the opening 45 minutes, unnerved by Liverpool’s tempo. Even the brilliant Toni Kroos found his radar off, although Benzema saw a cross-shot deflected against the post after a rare foray forward.

When the half-time whistle blew, the tie was still there, although you suspected Klopp’s team would regret their misses, that they had had their chance and blown it.

Mohamed Salah, Nacho, Liverpool vs Real Madrid 2020-21

So it proved. Liverpool continued to probe and pushed after the interval, but nothing came off.

Courtois saved well from Roberto Firmino, Salah took too long in the penalty area. Diogo Jota, sent on as a substitute with Thiago, saw a shot deflected into the side-netting, while the outstanding Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos’ deputy, blocked from Firmino.

Liverpool kept going, but the jig was up long before the final blast of referee Bjorn Kuipers’ whistle.

It was up, really, before they had left Madrid.

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Germany’s youngest fashion event, Frankfurt Fashion Week, divulged new details today. The event — a mixture of retail trade shows and fashion conferences — will take place between July 5 and 9 under the slogan “Reform the Future.”

The announcement of the event caused waves in mid-2020 when the local industry was informed that the fashion trade shows that drew most of the commercial visitors to Berlin Fashion Week were departing, moving from the country’s arts, culture and nightlife capital to Germany’s more conservative, financial center, Frankfurt. The shows leaving were the Premium fair for high-end mainstream brands, Seek for streetwear and Neonyt for eco-friendly wares. The less commercial aspects of Berlin Fashion Week were staying put.

Since then, the Frankfurt event’s organizers — Premium Group, managers of the Premium and Seek fairs, and Frankfurt Messe, one of the world’s largest convention organizers who put on congresses around the world and who own Neonyt — have been busy.

One of their organizational coups is a partnership with the Conscious Fashion Campaign, which works with the United Nations, “to accelerate global industry engagement…to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

The Conscious Fashion Campaign is a presenting partner for Frankfurt Fashion Week and there will be a Sustainable Development Goals summit during the July congress.

By 2023, aligning with sustainability goals will be a prerequisite for all exhibitors in Frankfurt. Those who don’t may find themselves without a slot there, explains Anita Tillmann, managing partner at Premium Group. “We can’t expect that everyone does everything right around this topic but we can expect that we will all be working together toward common goals,” she told WWD.

Like most fashion weeks over the past year, the upcoming Frankfurt event will be a hybrid affair, Tillmann added, with some events happening in real life and according to pandemic lockdown rules, and others online only.

Due to the pandemic, Tillmann doesn’t think trade shows will ever look exactly the same again. “The whole [trade fair] industry has had to rethink things,” she told WWD. In some ways, the enforced digital nature of conferencing has been useful, she noted, with more efficiency, savings on travel and useful lessons for companies who were not yet fully online. All of the proceedings in Frankfurt — whether runway shows or talks — will be available on a single online platform, which will continue to broadcast all year, she added.

“But on the other hand, you need a place where the industry meets. It’s a very emotional business, deals are often done in person” Tillmann said.

Runway shows for the general public and industry insiders have been planned in Frankfurt, along with live showcases of all kinds. That includes a series of pop-up activities under the umbrella Skate Week, or Sktwk, which was to include skateboarding sessions, art exhibitions and parties in the city.

As yet, it is not totally clear how the pandemic will impact things, Tillmann said. This week, news reports suggest the German federal government may be considering extending the lockdown, which has only partial retail openings, until June and may even be talking about toughening measures further if the rate of infections in Germany continues to rise.

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“Sustainability properly managed is really a cost efficiency programme,” says industry consultant Robert Antoshak

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented the apparel industry with an opportunity to pause, reflect and rethink its future. Winners in this new post-Covid world will be those that reset with sustainability in mind – shifting to more circular business models that move away from the traditional ‘take-make-waste’ system and allow for more transparency along the supply chain with greater cohesion between brands and suppliers.

The crisis sent the sector into a tailspin in 2020, but as it looks to regain its footing one year on, sustainability must be top of mind, industry executives tell just-style.

“In the past few years, the call for the transformation of the apparel industry has been heard loud and clear. Even before the Covid-19 standstill, the fashion industry had begun to make changes,” says Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good.

“A continued commitment to sustainability and innovation is not only important to ensure the industry meets sustainability targets, but brands, manufacturers, and retailers with a focus on innovation and sustainability are more prepared to meet the challenges ahead and will emerge from this crisis all the stronger.” 

“The transformation of our current business models to better align economic growth with circular and sustainable values is mission-critical” – Natasha Franck

Natasha Franck, founder and CEO of Internet of Things platform Eon, concurs: “If there is anything this pandemic has taught the fashion industry, it is that the transformation of our current business models to better align economic growth with circular and sustainable values is mission-critical.”

She adds the sector’s current system of continuous production and consumption is inherently limited, with the crisis bringing its limits into new focus.

“Greater attention to global human and environmental health is driving a surge of consumer interest in more responsible, sustainable products and brands – and rapidly growing engagement in resale and recommerce. As a result, the brands that have already been building towards a more connected value chain are the ones continuing to succeed – and grow. 

“Moving forward, business model transformation – specifically the adoption of responsive, connected, circular value chains – will be the price-of-entry into the market for brands that want to survive, thrive and lead in the new post-pandemic economy.”

Why sustainability? 

But with many industry players fighting for survival, why is a focus on sustainability so crucial?

Industry consultant Robert Antoshak says sustainability got pushed to the side during Covid as a luxury some simply couldn’t afford, but notes it now offers a way for the sector to find its way back into broader consumer relevance.

“It’s a very smart strategy from a business standpoint. Sustainability properly managed is really a cost efficiency programme because you have less inputs and so forth.

“Where the industry needs to reinvent itself is to rethink how it uses sustainability. I see some companies use it as a cover to paint bad behaviour, or lots of the industry uses it to maintain very, very long and complicated supply chains. So it’s time for a rethink in that regard.”

Meanwhile, Morten Lehmann, chief sustainability officer at Global Fashion Agenda, says the pre-Covid fashion system was “way beyond planetary boundaries.”

He adds that while the sector may have lifted millions out of poverty, a lot of the jobs were not “decent.”

“Maybe we don’t build back better…this needs to be a totally new structure because there was so much wrong with the old system” – Morten Lehmann

“There is a need to see how we can create a prosperous industry but one that works within planetary boundaries, that looks at the climate, and creates decent jobs. That’s what we need to work towards and that’s why sometimes when we say building back better, maybe we don’t even build back better; we don’t even build a new house, this needs to be a space rocket or a totally new structure because there was so much wrong with the old system. It just cannot continue because we don’t have enough resources in the world to allow it to continue in this same way.”

He adds the old system was not profitable, with about 40% of apparel currently being sold at a discount. “It’s not good in a business sense and it’s not good for the environment.”

Disruptive innovations

For a more sustainable future, the apparel industry must harness disruptive innovations, whether it be in the field of new materials, processes or technologies, Ley asserts.

In the tech space, Eon is one such example. The firm recently launched its Partner Network to build connected systems for the circular economy across fashion retail by allowing brands and retailers to track their products and tap into circular business models.

Franck notes as more partners emerge to facilitate the reuse, recycling or recommerce of products on behalf of the brands, industry transformation not only becomes possible – it becomes inevitable.

Andreas Streubig, director of global sustainability at Hugo Boss, also underscores the importance of technology and explains the pandemic has accelerated the virtualisation of the workplace. “Overnight we saw that working remotely on a large scale is not a future reality, but something we were suddenly faced with. I believe this finding will remain, shaping our future way of working – and this will also have an impact on the area of sustainability and how we approach this topic in the future.”

“If you’re a room of ten people, and you’re asking what sustainability is, you get back 12 answers. There has to be a concerted effort on defining what is sustainable” – Robert Antoshak

Digitalisation, he adds, can be an important driver in terms of production and procurement, the traceability of material streams, and target tracking. Indeed, the company developed its entire pre-fall 2021 collection digitally last year, significantly reducing material consumption.

Francois Souchet, lead of the Make Fashion Circular (MFC) programme at the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, also points to product design. He says products must be made so they can be returned or recycled and with materials that are not hazardous to people or the environment.

What’s more, climate change is set to have a “huge” impact on the materials the sector can use, particularly cotton and polyester, Lehmann says.

Meanwhile, for Antoshak, there needs to be a comprehensive assessment of how the industry defines sustainability.

“If you’re a room of ten people, and you’re asking what sustainability is, you get back 12 answers. There has to be a concerted effort on defining what is sustainable. Through that exercise, that’s when the relevance of sustainability will become apparent.

“Often I see the cotton industry getting picked on because they’re an easy target to blame for some sustainability problems. When in fact the problems of sustainability go a lot deeper in the supply chain than simply just blaming the raw material people.

“Some companies feel it’s just not relevant – but then the rest of the trade will realise that they’re not really into sustainability, and as a result, they’ll get that reputation. On the other hand, those who are trying to figure out what the solution is, they’ll have a real advantage.”

Future of supply chains

So where does this leave the supply chain?

Antoshak says the massive globalisation of the past may turn into a massive rationalisation, with Asian markets supplying Asian consumers and so forth. 

“How can you build a more resilient industry if you don’t know where your goods are being made?” – Morten Lehmann

“You’ll have a different approach,” he asserts, but adds: “The old-time churn of fast fashion, of overproduction, just to make sure there’s always product in the stores, I don’t think that’ll ever be entirely eliminated. That would be unrealistic.”

Lehmann, meanwhile, points to growing requirements for transparency from stakeholders, consumers, investors and regulators alike, noting: “If you have to be more transparent, you need to focus more on traceability.”

Indeed, he says investors will be looking to those companies who can speak to how prepared they are for a future crisis and prove their resilience.

And it’s here that traceability is key: “How can you build a more resilient industry if you don’t know where your goods are being made?” he asks. 

Greater cohesion across the supply chain is equally important. 

“The industry is so fragmented; we need to have much more collaboration. We have so many of these agendas and one of these that has really grown this year is the social agenda.”

Generally speaking, he says the industry has been mostly focusing on environmental issues as “that’s where the easiest solutions are.” But this past year has highlighted a lot of issues on the social side, including human rights.

“It’s a big challenge and there is no quick fix,” Lehmann says, adding while there is legislation in the works on mandatory due diligence, one answer is to put incentives in place that would reward companies for “doing the right thing.”

A more collaborative brand-supplier relationship will also help develop “feedback loops,” which will boost brand agility and “enable you to be real a winner in the future.”

He adds: “How can you solve some of the challenges in the supply chain, in terms of human rights issues, without having a close relationship with your buyers and a more equal partnership where you listen to all of your suppliers and the knowledge they have on sustainability? A mutual partnership, a more equal partnership, is what needs to happen.”

He points to the ‘Manufacturers Payment and Delivery Terms‘ initiative from the STAR Network – the first inter-Asia Network of Producer Associations – which launched in January to try to raise the bar on the purchasing practices of fashion brands and retailers.

“Hopefully in the future, there will be a battle for the good manufacturers and that power relationship can maybe be turned around a little bit so brands will have to amp up. Of course, often it is the other way around, but with the consolidation maybe that is something that will start happening.”

Souchet concurs, noting future supply chains need to be more collaborative and equal so they “don’t face the same challenges as today where if a brand is facing an issue they basically shut down their order, pushing the risk down toward the supply chain.”

He adds: “Evolving the relationship that exists between the brand and their supply chain is really important.”

Barriers to change

But as in any industry, there are challenges to overcome. 

These include changing mindsets, developing innovation capabilities, and retraining the workforce – and ensuring consumers are on board with the transformation and will still be able to have their needs met, Souchet says.

Another challenge concerns truly changing the industry at scale. “No company is big enough to achieve that so there’s a need for unprecedented collaboration across the industry to make it happen.”

Patience, however, will be key.

“The business case is not there to look at sustainability in the short term,” Lehmann cautions. “If you want to be in business and have loyal customers for the long run, of course, you need to focus on sustainability and build a more resilient supply chain. But in the short run, lots of people make a nice profit without thinking about sustainability and being rewarded with consumers that don’t want to think about it, just want to buy whatever they want, use it once, and put it in the garbage bin.”

Ley adds: “Circularity is an investment that demands patience. Larger organisations, with their long term goals, multiple stakeholders, large force of employees, and supply chain dependencies, will take longer to change course and steer towards sustainability, but ultimately will have a bigger impact as compared with smaller organisations that are more agile and so can make and implement changes and strategies rapidly and where needed.”

She tells just-style to bring the necessary innovations to scale, fashion brands, supply chain partners, investors and others all need to step up to create the conditions that accelerate innovation.

“Although a broad innovation pipeline has emerged, only a fraction of all available capital reaches fashion and textile tech, leaving many innovators stuck in the financing gap, unable to bring their solutions to market. Financing will flow into the fashion space when investors are presented with manageable risk, attractive returns, and measurable impact.”

With its US$2 trillion market size, Ley says the industry offers major untapped opportunities for investors and companies. Fashion for Good’s co-authored report,Financing the Transformation in the Fashion Industry: Unlocking Investment to Scale Innovation‘ calculates a financing opportunity of $20-$30bn per year to be directed toward developing and scaling the disruptive innovations and business models needed to achieve a step-change in sustainability by 2030.

The report identified two points in the development process that are most challenging to finance: securing financing to develop a minimum viable product, and scaling to reach commercial volumes.

To overcome the barriers, Ley reiterates the point that all parties must work collaboratively to drive change.

“No single stakeholder operating on its own can provide all of the capabilities and factors needed to scale innovation. So, the fashion industry, investors and financial institutions must act not only individually but also collectively, as orchestrators – through targeted consortiums and a structured innovation process. Multi-stakeholder organisations must drive collaboration and create a streamlined ecosystem for innovation.

“In addition, the industry needs bespoke consortiums of brands, supply chain partners, innovators and investors with a shared technology focus to concentrate resources and de-risk investments.”

Turning point?

As to whether the pandemic will truly prove to be a turning point and act as a trigger for the industry to build back better, the executives are cautiously optimistic – at least for one half of the industry.

“I think there are good signs that it will. The first sign is how much people have been converted to second-hand over the pandemic,” Souchet says, pointing to the success of platforms such as TheRealReal as an example. 

“It really shows an accelerated shift toward these models…and in that direction of making sure products are used more. Then we see a lot of companies coming back with much stronger strategies on sustainability and the circular economy compared to before the pandemic, which is also a very positive sign. 

Lehmann, meanwhile, says while the crisis will galvanise some to change – who will, hopefully, be the winners in the long run – others will simply find it too difficult. 

Not only was sustainability never a focus or part of the core business for many companies, but now they are simply fighting for survival.

“Do I see them doing more sustainability? No. For me, it’s not where they’re going, they’re just trying to survive quarter by quarter.”

Antoshak also foresees a tale of two halves but says, ultimately, it will come down to consumer demand.  

“I think the reality is for part of the industry, it will be a permanent change of operators. For another part, it’ll just be a snapback. At the end of the day, I think the ultimate decision-maker in this will be the consumer.”

He adds: “There’s always going to be a need for mass-market production because not everyone can afford those kinds of prices. So that’s why I see it as a double path.

“Some companies will stay with the fast fashion route because it will work with a portion of the population very well and they’ll say, ‘Well, there’s really no reason to change.'”

A series of articles looking at ‘Redefining the apparel industry for the future’ appears in the latest issue of just-style magazine. It’s free to view, and you can click here to read more.

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Key Takeaways:

  • 18- to 25-year-olds in China are expected to spend 5.89 percent more on pets this year — a higher number than those born after 1985 (3.79 percent) and the national average (3.73 percent).

  • The number of dogs and cats in China’s urban areas increased by 1.7 percent between 2019 and 2020, exceeding the 100 million mark for the first time.

  • Fashion brands cooperate with pet KOLs to create topics, communicate with target users, and encourage viewers to purchase key products.

This Chinese New Year was a different experience for many people in China. In response to the government’s call not to return home during the Spring Festival, many citizens spent CNY separated from their families and far from their hometowns. Pets, now regarded as family members by many, provided emotional support, and pet/owner relationships became closer during this time. As such, dressing pets in nice clothes and taking them out to keep them healthy and show them off became an urgent desire for pet owners.

According to data from, sales of pet gift boxes increased nine-fold during the Chinese New Year. Some special pet products for the Spring Festival, such as pet snacks and lucky red pet items, were also popular. According to Tmall’s top-10 new Spring Festival purchases in 2021, Post-90s have become the top consumer group for Spring Festival purchases for the first time. And pet clothing is their target, ranking second only to semi-prepared New Year’s Eve dinners in China’s thriving pet economy.

Who’s buying pet items?

According to the 2019-2020 China Youth Consumption Report from CCTV’s finance and economics department, 18 to 25-year-olds are expected to spend 5.89 percent more on pets this year. That is a higher number than those born after 1985 (3.79 percent) and the national average (3.73 percent).

Pet platform PetHadoop’s 2020 White Paper on China’s Pet Industry tells us the number of dogs and cats in China’s urban areas increased by 1.7 percent between 2019 and 2020, exceeding the 100 million mark for the first time. Meanwhile, the pet product market reached $31.5 billion (206.5 billion yuan), a growth of 2 percent from 2019.

These numbers show that behind this pet fixation lies a psychological change influenced by culture and business. In urban areas, where work pressures are high, people often have fewer family ties and fewer long-term friends. Many young people have adopted a lack of trust and a strong sense of loneliness, and time spent with a pet heals them and gives them solace.

They have also become passionate about grooming their pets and dressing them up to display their style and their pets’ personalities. Many pursue high-quality, well-designed products so their pet can have a better life and show them how much they care for them. With pets elevated to family members and companions, the significance of pet ownership is profound.

How do luxury brands focus on pets?

Examples of luxury brands launching pet clothing and accessory lines include Prada’s pet down jacket, Louis Vuitton’s pet collar, Hermès’ pet leash, and Tiffany’s pet plates. The products, which range from $610 to $4,580 (4,000 to 30,000 RMB), are expensive but popular with many pet owners.

Pets take the spotlight in some promotional campaigns as well. This January, Louis Vuitton released a video of one of China’s top livestreamers, Austin Li (Li Jiaqi), with his five nearly identical poodles. One of the dogs, named Never, promoted Louis Vuitton’s pet carriers. Never was also featured on the front of Perfect Diary’s eye shadow compact, which was co-branded with Li. Once the brand launched its pre-sales in early 2020, 150,000 sets sold in less than 10 seconds.

Perfect Diary features Li Jiaqi’s puppy Never on its eyeshadow palette. Photo: Li Jiaqi’s Weibo

During Christmas and Chinese New Year, pets become design inspiration and marketing tools for luxury goods. For example, Prada launched three new pet products for their Christmas 2020 collection, each with different options for different occasions. Chinese New Year has always been connected to animals because of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. As such, many brands used unique cow elements in their designs in honor of the Year of the Ox, striving to capture consumer attention during the fierce CNY marketing competition.

Fashion brands cooperate with pet KOLs to create topics, communicate with target users, and encourage viewers to purchase key products. But, above all, quickly grab viewers’ attention and hold it, as brands are counting on the dopamine release triggered by cute pets to work in their favor.

Luxury brand values communicated through pet products

Over the long term, brands that use pets to tell good stories will establish a pet-friendly image and win Chinese consumers’ goodwill. Balenciaga’s “I Love Pets” T-shirt line promotes the idea of adopting pets instead of buying them. Valentino’s Rockstud Pet bag line can be customized with an image of the customer’s pet and the owner’s initial, deepening the emotional connection between owner, pet, and brand.

Valentino’s Rockstud Pet tote offers customers a unique handmade print of their pet by the illustrator Riccardo Cusimano. Photo: Courtesy of Valentino

Interestingly, different pet breeds have different degrees of popularity in China versus Western countries, and they even have different implied meanings. The number of cat owners in China increased in 2020 compared to 2019, and cats are becoming increasingly popular pets. Because of this, for Burberry’s Valentine’s Day ads in China, the brand shot an advertisement with a Scottish Fold cat (known for its cute folded ears). But in Burberry’s Western ads for its famous B Series, Bulldogs — dogs rarely owned in China — were the featured pet. Brands must take advantage of pet preferences and symbolism differently on Chinese and Western social media to communicate with those target audiences correctly.

What will luxury brands do in the future?

The aesthetics of pet fashion depend on the owner’s tastes and the brand itself. Brands can design more products like pet carriers, beds, and clothing to match key elements in their clothing lines. That can increase customer purchase rates and close feelings with pets, but they must fully consider the pet’s comfort, functional needs, and safety. That is the only way to truly convey pet-friendly values and win the trust of pet owners.

Brands are also likely to provide pet owners with more choices to meet their different needs. In addition to clothing, traction accessories, collars, and food dishes, there are also gaps in the market for more segments. Sustainable, environmentally friendly materials and smart products for pets are worth looking at as options.

But luxury brands should also look for suitable pet mascots and models via popular and significant breeds in China. French jewelry brand Boucheron has done well in China in this regard, highlighting its mascot, the black cat Wladimir, who also features highly on their Western digital channels. Black cats symbolize auspiciousness in China, and Boucheron has added ideas of freedom and heritage to that legacy. This kind of localization is one of the keys to successful marketing in China.

Additional research by Stella Zhan

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