If there is anything luxury fashion needs, it is a makeover. In terms of aesthetics, everything is going well. Of course, it is high fashion after all. But what is beyond the look? By now, we all know there are some ugly things behind garment making: child labor, environmental destruction, and much more.
Thankfully, however, the world has recently woken up to the horrors of luxury fashion. The consumer is currently pushing for more inclusivity and diversity, as well as more ecologic and social consciousness. And while there is no denying some are lagging behind, the truth is that a lot of companies are listening.
It’s hence necessary to support those brands that are actually pushing for a change. We, as consumers, are quite powerful. And we must show the industry that we want it to go in the right direction.
So, here is a list of some of the companies that are fighting for a better industry. Knowing what they do and why might help you decide where to make your next purchase.
Fashion Luxury Brands
Balenciaga has previously partnered with two very important agents of change: The Trevor Project and the NAACP. The former aims to prevent LGBT youth suicide. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s main aim is to dismantle racism. Through these partnerships, Balenciaga has made donations to both associations, as well as called attention to their causes. This is extremely valuable, considering that LGBT youths and colored people are exceptionally vulnerable groups.
From this, it’s clear that Balenciaga is undertaking efforts to move beyond the scope of just fashion. The brand promotes causes that can help to change society for the better. And it doesn’t stop there.
Indeed, the maison’s runway has proven to host one of the most diverse arrays of models in terms of age. Models in their 50s seem to pop up everywhere on the catwalk, and it is nothing but admirable. Though it is often relegated to the background, the problem of ageism is very prominent and should be paid attention to. It is a relief that a brand the likes of Balenciaga dares to challenge the status quo of luxury fashion. We need it.
Similar to Balenciaga, the Prada Group seems to be taking matters into its own hands. Certainly, in a direct approach, the company has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The results are both surprising and remarkably exciting.
The partnership’s plan is to develop scholarships. But not any scholarships. These would be exclusively directed to students of color from the United States and Africa. And while this might seem just like a nice nature upon first analysis, it is much more than that.
The Prada Group has described this as an effort to improve representation within the industry, pointing to a circular approach. It is exciting to know that companies of such scale are thinking of what the future might look like. And it’s especially thrilling to know that they want that future to be more diverse and inclusive.
Surely, Gucci is taking a stand in the fight for sustainability. The company moved to sustainable packaging about a year ago. Yet perhaps more impactful is its decision to go seasonless. This is a big step not only for Gucci itself but also for luxury fashion as a whole.
Fashion has always been obsessed with newness, and it’s destroying our planet. People buy and then people throw away. So we end up with thousands of barely-touched garments in landfills. And, knowing that the planet does have a limited amount of land, the solution seems to be to simply produce less.
Therefore, brands as big as Gucci going seasonless set an example. They show the rest of the luxury fashion world that it is possible and profitable to produce less. If there was ever a time when we needed that, it is now.
In the 90s, Versace gave birth to the supermodel. Since then, the luxury fashion brand has aesthetically contributed to the industry in substantial forms; there is no denying that. Yet Versace has proven its willingness to keep up with the times at every turn.
First and foremost, Donatella Versace is very vocally supportive of the LGBT community. This is not surprising, considering the late Gianni Versace’s sexual orientation. But, in a heteronormative world, brands supporting the gay community is somewhat uncommon. In that, Versace is a model for brands to emulate, for them to get courage and support the right causes.
Furthermore, the brand has proven to be a pioneer in terms of size inclusivity. Though many luxury fashion brands have recently seen their runways increase in size diversity, it is still not enough. The reality is that representation does not equal practice. And a lot of companies simply do not produce garments for plus-size people, even if they utilize plus-size models. So Versace seriously contemplating and planning on expanding its size range is a win for the culture. Though the change is not tangible yet, the possibility should be celebrated. Very few luxury fashion companies have made such claims.
Lastly, the owner of Versace launched a corporate social responsibility strategy back in 2020. It’s a little abstract, but it sets goals for the brand, to help it become eco-conscious. And the recent launch of the Versace Dylan Turquoise perfume, made of 85% biodegradable ingredients, definitely points to improvement.
These brands are not perfect. But neither are we. The most we can do is recognize that they are doing better and support them. Yet we should also push for more. If they can do this, they can do more.
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