Newsletter #12 | Inclusivity and diversity in fashion
I couldn’t start off October’s edition of the newsletter without at least a little nod to Fashion Month. September saw fashion take its world tour, stopping at New York, London, Milan and Paris, bringing the latest SS20 looks with it. As always, we’ve been paying close attention to the catwalk collections and sartorial street style and you can read my round up over on the Pure London blog (once you’ve finished the newsletter, of course!)
But as we all know, fashion is about so much more than just the clothes. It’s a space for self-expression and creating an identity. And with so much conversation about representation, mental health, gender and sexuality and more, now seems like the right time to explore some of these issues in a bit more detail.
The fashion industry has long come under fire for a lack of representation, in size, race, age and more. And whilst attitudes towards diversity on the catwalk and in the industry is ever-fluctuating, we seem to be entering an era of greater differentiation for fashion as we know it.
And these issues aren’t the only ones being explored in today’s conversation surrounding the industry. The LGBTQ conversation is one that’s being expressed more vocally every day, and fashion is creeping back to an era of gender fluidity and neutrality.
Finally, as you might have seen, Pure’s got a new look for a new decade. And hand-in-hand with our makeover, we’re excited to be bringing the Key Buyer Programme to Pure London, ensuring that we draw the cream of the buying crop through the doors of Olympia London each season. I spoke to our very own Key Buyer Manager Timi Ajayi to find out what he’s excited for in the upcoming edition.
As always, happy reading!
THE PATH TO INCLUSIVITY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY
In an industry that’s been built on exclusivity, fashion has, more often than not, failed to represent anything more than one standard of beauty. The beauty cult of the young, slim, white model has long been the ideal represented in our industry leading to a perception of a lack of diversity in fashion as a whole. Until now. As social media and a greater connectedness amongst designers and consumers opens doors to new conversations, the future of the fashion industry is looking much more diverse in more ways than one…
Fashion and mental healthAfter that mental health protest at Gucci’s London Fashion Week show, the conversation around mental health and its representation in the fashion industry has been blown back open. Whilst the prevalence of eating disorders, especially amongst models, has been acknowledged for a long time now, other issues surrounding the topic of mental health have been, until recently, very much taboo. But with the deaths of designers Kate Spade and Alexander McQueen raising awareness of just how the pressures of the industry can take their toll on creatives, these issues are becoming harder and harder to ignore and mental health awareness in fashion is on the rise. But it’s not just the big names feeling the strain. Suicide rates and cases of addiction are on the rise in fashion students and young creatives in the industry, as well.
Racial diversity in fashionThe conversation surrounding race is perhaps one of the most contentious in the fashion industry. Historically, a lack of diversity in both fashion magazines and models has led to a sense of exclusion amongst the majority of women, who do not fit into the perpetuated stereotypes. Again, though, fashion is following suit where the conversation is concerned, as cultural movements like Black Lives Matter continue to be relevant. And, whilst a more diverse line-up of catwalk models is proving a visible shift in attitude, the changes in the industry go behind the scenes too. 2018 saw streetwear designer Virgil Abloh become the first black artistic director of catwalk giant Louis Vuitton and even high street brands are expanding their collections to include modest fashion for Muslim women.
Age and diversity in fashionAfter being released from her contract as brand ambassador for Lancôme at age 43 for being “too old”, Isabella Rossellini reclaimed the gauntlet in 2018, aged 65. And with the Elastic Generation being fashion and beauty’s biggest spenders right now, it only makes sense that older women should be seen representing their off-runway counterparts in the industry. Naomi Campbell, who has long been known for her advocacy for diversity and female empowerment, is understandably front and centre of this conversation. The model, activist and newly crowned BFC Fashion Icon closed the show at Saint Laurent’s Paris Fashion Week Show, an honour not usually reserved for those with 49 years under their belts.
Whilst there is still a way to go, fashion is well on the road to a more inclusive, diverse and intersectional future. Make sure you join us at Pure London’s AW20/21 edition to hear more on the issues of the industry today. Join us on 9th – 11th February for the Festival of Fashion at Olympia London.
Source: “9 Ways The Fashion Industry Embraced Inclusivity in 2018” article by Emma Day, Vogue
Source: “Editor’s Letter: Lorraine Candy on age diversity in fashion” article by Lorraine Candy, The Times
Source: “Fashion’s long road to inclusivity” article by Sarah Kent, Business of Fashion
CONTINUE READING NEWSLETTER #12
About Pure London and Pure Origin
We are the UK’s number one leading fashion trade event that brings together the entire fashion supply chain, right the way from fibre through to finished ready to wear garments.
No other UK show offers sourcing and brands together, making Pure London and Pure Origin the only event to cater to all your fashion buying needs under one central London roof.
Location & Opening times:
London W14 8UX
Sunday 9th February 2020, 09.30 - 18.00
Monday 10th February 2020, 09.30 - 18.00
Tuesday 11th February 2020, 09.30 - 16.00