Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Next-Up On Dua Lipa’s Jam-Packed 2020 Schedule? A Collaboration With Puma

“My very first memory of Puma was when I was around six or seven years old and my Dad bought us a pair of matching burgundy suede sneakers, they were my favourite shoes!” Dua Lipa told British Vogue.

Nearly a decade on from when the singer wore her father-daughter Pumas, she is set to join forces with the brand in a professional capacity, working on a series of collaborations. “From performance rehearsals to hiking in the hills, it’s important to feel comfortable and look good,” she remarks. “I’ve got so many ideas for the projects and campaigns I’ll be taking part in, and look forward to bringing them all to life with the Puma team.”

As the new face of the brand, Dua will feature in numerous campaigns and support empowering initiatives to inspire women all over the world. From next year, she will headline Puma’s She Moves Us project, a female-focused partnership that champions connectivity through sport and culture. 

To kickstart the collab, Puma will serve as the key sponsors of the star’s highly anticipated Studio 2054 project. Set to be livestreamed on 27 November, Dua’s virtual world comprises a series of killer performances: just this week, she announced that FKA Twigs has joined the glittering line-up. 

Teasers of her active calendar appointments and non-stop rehearsals have dominated the singer’s Instagram feed of late. True to her fashion aficionado status, each post has debuted multiple stylish looks, the majority of which have featured new sparkling additions from Italian jewellery brands Eéra and Bea Bongiasca.

Hot on the heels of her Future Nostalgia album launch – whose track list features the likes of Madonna, Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, Mark Ronson and Yaeji – Studio 2054 acts as a culmination of Dua’s jam-packed 2020 schedule.

Since turning 25 in August, the singer has released a TikTok music video for her upbeat intergalactic tune “Levitating,” and a similarly melodic song entitled “Fever” co-starring Angèle. And if that wasn’t enough, the former Vogue cover star has hosted an Instagram Live conversation with Elton John, appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and received a duo of AMA nominations for Best Song Pop/Rock and Favourite Female Artist Pop/Rock.

“I guess I kind of never stopped really,” she told British Vogue last month, speaking of her perennially busy diary. “I do really enjoy just like, cooking and being at home. It’s something I don’t really get the opportunity to do when I’m travelling so often,” she added.

The 11 Biggest Autumn/Winter 2020 Trends

In this strangest of years, you could be forgiven for thinking that the autumn/winter 2020 trends are somewhat moot. So much has happened in the world since Louis Vuitton closed out the season in early March. Back then, fears of the coronavirus swirled, and many journalists, buyers and influencers skipped town early. Very few, though, could have predicted the scale of the global shutdown that was to follow – nor predicted the many ways in which it has left the relative weaknesses of the fashion industry exposed.

If the pandemic has given us a renewed sense of perspective on fashion’s relentless pace, its voracious desire for newness, and the pressures this places on people and the planet, it has also reinforced that most basic tenet: at its best, fashion can decorate your day, inspiring and edifying in equal measure. As the countless “lockdown looks” posted on social media in the last few months attest, wearing good clothes can lift the spirits immeasurably. While many fashion houses were forced to stall production on their autumn/winter 2020 collections, the phenomenal creativity on show back in February and March prevails in the pages of Vogue: never underestimate the power of a great fashion story to lift your spirits – nor that of a gallery of fabulous looks from the catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris. 

The tale of the autumn/winter 2020 season may yet be best summed up with the idiomatic “all dressed up with nowhere to go”: eveningwear exemplars were all over the catwalks. Even if you’re confined to your living room, you can expect serious fun with the season’s extraordinary volumes, manifesting in everything from ballooning sleeves (as seen at Chanel, Fendi, et al) to exploding skirts (most jaw-droppingly at Gucci, Molly Goddard, Off-White, and Carolina Herrera). Gorgeous gold, too, was a prevalent theme on the runways – Tom Ford’s cut-away number was shown in Los Angeles to its best advantage by Bella Hadid – as was an exuberant weakness for fringing (you can thank Miuccia Prada for that). 

Elsewhere, a somewhat studious theme emerged, equally suitable for these sobering times. Nerdy knitwear abounded, with cardigans and argyle sweaters paired with everything from go-anywhere denim to after-dark silks. As did skirt suits, which are surely the most empowering purchase you can make if you’re planning a serious “back-to-work” look when the office reopens. And when we say there is a lot of head-to-toe black – well, trust us. Black is most certainly back.

Then there are the “just because” pieces that will never fail to delight. Seeking to make one key investment buy this season? Make it a hot red dress, preferably in slinky sequins. (Most of the front row is still dreaming of Adut Akech in Valentino’s paragon.) Here’s Vogue’s edit of the biggest autumn/winter 2020 trends.

The Balloon Affair

Whether you’ve got Anthony van Dyck’s portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria or Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington saved in your iPhone screenshots, there is only one rule when it comes to sleeves this season: pump, pump, pump it up. From refined ruffles and leg o’ mutton shapes at Max Mara to choux pastry puffs at Chanel, statement swathes at Jil Sander and shoulder shelves at Isabel Marant, nothing says “she’s arrived” quite like an XXL sleeve.

Gold Standard

Gold has smashed through a new price record on the global markets as the pandemic continues to take effect, but fashion got there first: the February runways were filled with glistening gowns (Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta), sumptuous day dresses (Celine), and one-off armoured Joan of Arc-inspired outfits (Paco Rabanne). If you’re shopping for a Christmas party number, this is the hue to pursue.

Cardigan Square

One nil to the street-style set: after seasons of ‘It’ girls and influencers championing the shrug-it-on ease of a cardigan, the librarian favourite is back on all the biggest and brightest catwalks. Worn with everything from Seventies-hued denim (see Chloé) to trouser suits (Coach 1941) and pencil skirts (Fendi, Christopher Kane), our favourite look came courtesy of Jacquemus, where Simon Porte Jacquemus, with the help of Jill Kortleve, made the cardigan sex symbol-worthy.

Reality Check

Gather up those tartans, houndstooths, ginghams and Prince of Wales checks and get to work: this is the easiest trend of the season, and all it requires is an unabashed passion for clashing. From Alexander McQueen to Brandon Maxwell, who offered elegant cross-hatched “yes Marm” dresses at one end of the spectrum, mixed with grown-up leather accessories, to Burberry at the other, where tights, skirts, coats, and headscarves in jubilant house checks were worn altogether, there are multiple ways to wear your squares come autumn.

Swish Swish

The first look out at Prada almost always ends up proving definitive of the season, and autumn/winter 2020 was no different: Miuccia Prada paired a businesslike grey blazer with an ebullient fringed skirt and just like that, femininity was bolstered for another autumn. “I wanted to use fringe as a symbol of what is considered feminine… the quintessential cliché. This is a way of saying that you can be strong and feminine at the same time,” she said, of her new wardrobe equation. Elsewhere, designers fell for fringe in a big way: from ’20s flapper-style tassels at Dior, to wild chunky trails on coats, bags and dresses at Bottega Veneta, these styles are best worn with a forward-march sense of resolve.

Enter The Matrix

Your coat’s vital stats for autumn: take Keanu Reeves’s Matrix character as your muse and make like Neo. Yes, there were XXL coats and shearling coats and trench coats and capes, but it was the buttery-soft leather coats that caught our eye. Structured and a little prim at Fendi and Versace, louche and more Nineties at Khaite and Tod’s, you’ll be surprised with how quickly they add a little polish to your jeans-and-a-sweater combo. Not convinced? As the Architect would say: “Denial is the most predictable of all human responses.”

Red Alert

If the allure of the red dress has passed you by, get thee to Valentino – no one does the fiery hue quite like the Italian brand, after all. Hot on its heels is Bottega Veneta, whose sequin-spangled version was worn with rubber wellingtons – proof, if you needed it, that this is quite simply an item that can be paired with, uh, anything. Fiery, unapologetic, it’s worth investing in this season. As Vogue once opined, “You cannot retreat in red”. Go get ’em.

The New Suit

A skirt suit? For 2020, this slobbiest of years, measured out in working-from-home track pants? We’re serious. If you’re planning a return to the office, why not look the part, in lemon-yellow Marc Jacobs?

Press To Inflate

Already pressed inflate on your sleeves? Well then, you’re halfway to autumn’s boldest look, which deals in extraordinary proportions and even leaves room for lunch. From bulbous creations at JW Anderson to Marie Antoinette-inspired cake dresses with serious presence at Moschino, unexpected volumes lifted numerous collections. Our top: start small, then rise to the occasion.

Borrowed From The Boys

Bella Hadid was all over this traditionally masculine trend before it hit the catwalks. No wonder, then, that Matthew Williams, the newly installed creative director at Givenchy, put her in a leather tie and white shirt combo from his Alyx collection. Doesn’t she look… ravishing? There are plenty of places to grab a slice of that, from Dolce & Gabbana to Gucci and Versace.

Back To Black

As the autumn shows drew to a close, the front row lost count of how many had opened with a head-to-toe black look. Even Pierpaolo Piccioli, the master of colour, fell for it in a big way at Valentino, editing out the striking neons and rich colour pairings that have defined his solo tenure at the house in favour of black sequins, black corsets, black trousers, black coats. It was moody and sexy – and echoed elsewhere, often with some black leather thrown in for good measure (thigh-high, second-skin leather boots alert!) at Alexander McQueen and Victoria Beckham. Even the grown-up tailoring at The Row and Carolina Herrera had a moody edge. And if head-to-toe feels a little severe, well, a pair of stompy boots is non-negotiable.

Elite Model Management To Offer Insurance For Models

Elite Model Management USA is introducing insurance for models, a first in the industry.

Health-care access and coverage will be made available to all models represented by Elite Model Management USA at a low cost, effective Nov. 15.

Models, who are considered independent contractors and not entitled to many employment-related benefits, have typically had to seek out coverage by other means, if at all

Sergio Leccese, Elite USA’s chief financial officer, said, “Modeling is one of the most exciting, yet unpredictable careers possible. We’ve always made it our mission to prepare our models for that unpredictability and protect them so they can flourish at the highest level. Insurance for Models is a natural extension of that core philosophy. We wanted to give our roster of models unparalleled peace of mind. This way, if they face a natural accident or interruption customary for any other profession, they know they’re taken care of — even if they’re on the other side of the world.”

Coverage will include medical assistance, medical expenses (including dental), personal accident, private third-party liability, travel/flight inconvenience (delayed/cancelled flights, missed connections, delayed return of luggage) and cover stay (in case of medical detention ordered by authorities for safety reasons).

The plan will be administered by Strategica Insurance Management, an international insurance broker, and underwritten by AXA Assistance — Inter Partner Assistance S.A., a leader in travel insurance and assistance, in conjunction with Elite. The insurance plan will be accepted internationally. Models can manage their policies with a web app, which features a dashboard for the network and 24/7 emergency medical assistance.

According to Leccese, the insurance plan’s cost to the model is $580 a year, and it can be deducted monthly from their statement. Elite isn’t subsidizing the costs. He is hoping that other modeling agencies will offer this plan to their models as an industry benefit.

He said Elite made this move to be able to give the models additional support, in the same way that they offer advice in banking, real estate and other investment matters. He is offering this plan to Elite’s talent, which includes models, actors, musicians, DJs, influencers and athletes, at its New York, Miami and Los Angeles offices. They will be covered globally under the plan. Elite doesn’t offer 401(k) plans to its models or pay worker’s compensation for its models.

He explained that the plan is custom-made for the model, and an affordable rate is possible because the models are coming in as a group.

In citing some examples, Leccese noted that if a model gets a bad scratch on their face and can’t work, she would be covered, even though a regular working person wouldn’t get covered for a scratch. If a model gets injured on a shoot, the client’s insurance covers it, but if the injury is the fault of the model, she is covered by the model insurance. If the model damages someone or something during the shoot, she also has the third-party liabilities that covers models. Mental health is covered if it’s a consequence of an incident, he added.

Sydney Giordano, associate director of Model Alliance, a New York-based advocacy group focused on models and others employed in the fashion industry, confirmed that modeling agencies haven’t offered health insurance or other benefits to models, “and many models remain uninsured.”

“In the past, we at the Model Alliance have helped to register models who are uninsured to enroll in health insurance plans through the New York State of Health Marketplace,” she said.

Do Fashion Films Have A Future In The Industry?

As another season of fashion shows comes to a close, what once seemed like a giant question mark has...well, came and went. The Spring/Summer 2021 shows confronted designers with different questions than usual: instead of where and when to show a collection, they had to get creative and show their collections in new and more socially distant ways.

While some opted for in-person shows with limited and distanced guests, several designers took to the digital realm to showcase clothing through artistic mediums like film and photography projects. Scaling larger-than-life runway presentations down to the size of a computer screen is no easy task, however, designers stepped outside their comfort zones composing new and inventive approaches to the traditional catwalk presentation in an effort to create engaging virtual experiences for those on the other side of their device screens. Between lush visuals, musical scores, and docu-style formats, there was no lack of excitement despite mandates of social distancing.

The season posed challenges for designers, yet each participating house helped create a new and modernized concept of the traditional fashion runway we all know and love. As the future of the fashion shows seems more and more unclear, the format of the fashion film has provided an alternate strategy for designers to artfully present their collections in a safe and effective ways. While the big production fashion shows may be a thing of the past, we look towards a future of experimental (and socially distant) ways to show off the sartorial splendors fashion month offers up. 

Michael Kors

The unveiling of Michael Kors Collection Spring/Summer 2021 was accompanied by a documentary film, Up On The Roof, which explored the strength and spirit of New York City. Narrated by Kors himself, the short video unearthed the designer's inspiration for the season—nature interpreted through an urban lens.

The essence of the collection was embodied by budding filmmaker, writer, and visual artist Haley Elizabeth Anderson. Showcasing the beauty of the metropolis Kors calls home, the film also featured surprise guest and founder of the New York Restoration Project Bette Midler, whose commitment to transforming urban spaces only affirmed the brand's heartening message.


Becca McCharen-Tran, designer and founder of Chromat, enlisted the activist Tourmaline to create the brand's Spring/Summer 2021 film entitled Joy Run. In partnership with Reebok, the film and collection personify Chromat's long-standing goal of a more diverse and gender-inclusive athletic space. 

The film tells the story of two trans athletes, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, who became activists for the trans community when Connecticut parents petitioned to ban the two from playing on female sports teams. Olympians who have been discriminated against also tell their stories, including Caster Semenya, who was forced to undergo sex testing and withdraw from the competition after winning the 2009 World Championships.

Tran and Tourmaline juxtapose stories of struggle with stories of activism, hope, and joy, hence the film's title. The duo's goal is to show sports as an enjoyable and joyful space for everyone at any level, regardless of gender identity. 

Salvatore Ferragamo

The Salvatore Ferragamo show took place in person at the Rotonda Della Besana in Milan, but it opened with nine minutes of Alfred Hitchcock-inspired fashion film directed by Luca Guadagnino. Titled Suspense, Intrigue and Beauty, the film features Ferragamo-clad models like Anok Yai, Mariacarla Boscono, and Maggie Cheng strutting through grandiose Milanese locations, heels clacking with each step. Like many of Hitchcock's films, the Ferragamo film presentation evoked an elegant blend of suspense, intrigue, and beauty that climaxed with the opening of the runway show.


Instead of a regular Loewe runway show, creative director Jonathon Anderson opted for a "Show-on-the-Wall": a box filled with everything he wanted his audience to experience, delivered promptly to them ahead of the collection's release. The box included posters of the Spring/Summer 2021 looks, sheet music, a roll of wallpaper, and more. In an exclusive mini film, Anderson walks through the concept of this experience, unveils the posters, and describes each look. 


Jeremy Scott's Moschino collections usually follow the more-is-more mantra, but for this unorthodox season, the designer took a scaled down approach by literally shrinking everything. He debuted the Moschino Spring/Summer 2021 collection through a puppet show with marionette dolls as models wearing miniature versions of the looks. He even included doll versions of typical show guests. 

Thom Browne

The press release for Thom Browne's men's and women's Spring/Summer 2021 collection read, "good afternoon and welcome...reporting to you live from 239,000 miles above the earth, in celebration of the first lunar games." The collection wasn't actually 239,000 miles above Earth, but rather at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where it was shot in a video format. Home to the Summer 2028 Olympic games and many Olympic games past, the Coliseum served as the backdrop for Browne's 2132 Lunar Games: a futuristic version of the Olympics in which models and athletes paraded down rows of steps in a re-imagined opening ceremony. A tailored ode to sport and sportsmanship, the collection included Browne's iconic suits interpreted in new ways.

Stella McCartney

Fashion's queen of sustainability presented her collection through a short video filmed in the gardens of Houghton Hall in Norfolk. Shot by creative duo Mert & Marcus and entitled McCartney A to Z Manifesto, which refers to an A to Z list of brand pillars that McCartney created ("A" for accountable, "S" for sustainable, "Z" for zero waste, etc.), the film expresses a desire for the connection of nature, art and fashion. 

Maison Margiela

For Maison Margiela's Spring/Summer 2021 collection, John Galliano published a nearly 45-minute long film called S.W.A.L.K. II, a sequel to the brand's summer film released during Haute Couture season in July. Nick Knight directed the film in Tuscany, and it features Galliano himself discussing his inspiration for the collection: the tango, translated through fiery reds and accented with whites and greys. Perhaps the best part, though, is the underwater wedding that takes place at the film's closing. A bride and nine accompanying characters are fully submerged, their Margiela looks billowing in the hazy blue water.


In this unprecedented season, Creative Director Casey Cadwallader unveils his ambitious prelude to Mugler's Spring Summer 2021 collection in a short film directed by Florian Joahn. The film is a tribute to the city of Paris, depicting both the bourgeoisie and the suburbs while introducing a global, dynamic cast of models in Parisian skylines and interiors. An almost trompe l’oeil visual effect permeates throughout the collection against a pulsing electronic backdrop in the film, and Mugler's new line emerges in this psychedelic clash between Mugler’s past and present aesthetics. With that said, Mugler's legacy is intact and embraced, as the short film celebrates the fashion fantasia of the Mugler universe like never before.


With a grand note on fashion globalization, Marni's Creative Director Francesco alongside Artistic Director Babak Radboy delivered a collection on a worldwide scale, fusing live-broadcasting and social-distancing for a show spanning four continents and dozens of cities. Dubbed Marnifesto, the presentation engages with viewers and models as human beings, portraying each person walking in the collection (live or pre-recorded) to show a snippet of their daily lives with their complete individual autonomy, in a venue that is anywhere and everywhere imaginable.

Captured on camera phones by their loved ones, the film is truly a manifesto of visual storytelling in a time of uncertainty, and Marnifesto nonetheless affirms that there is power in fashion film presentation: the power of fashion democratization, and the power of creative masses in the future to come.

By Far And Vestiaire Collective Unveil An Upcycled Edit Of It Girl-Ready Accessories

“All our pieces are designed with quality and longevity in mind; we believe a circular approach to fashion lies at the heart of achieving a more sustainable future for all,” say By Far founders Sabina Gyosheva, Valentina Ignatova and Denitsa Bumbarova. Keen to promote conscious consumption, the trio has teamed-up with Vestiaire Collective on a capsule of By Far signature pieces, reworked with a sustainable spin. 

Made up of two parts, the first chapter of the new Future Collectibles edit features six upcycled Mini Rachel bag styles, fashioned from deadstock and pre-loved By Far pieces found on the Vestiaire site. The shoulder bags have been decorated with appliqués that replicate floral motifs, and the distinctive chainlink adornment dangles from the strap.

The three women also cherry-picked 20 archive pieces from their own closets. Customers will be able to get their hands on By Far styles that have been central to the success of the It-girl favourite brand since the beginning – namely the very first Rachel bag and boots ever released, and the now discontinued Scandi mule, which was snapped up by Irina Shayk, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk and Priyanka Chopra.

“Fashion resale and recycling is one of the solutions that can have a positive impact on the current climate crisis, allowing fashion lovers to extend the lifespan of their pieces and encouraging participation in the circular economy, which will help address the urgent issue of waste reduction,” Vestiaire co-founder Fanny Moizant tells British Vogue. “More and more we see first-hand brands adapting to include resale and recycling into their strategy, and we hope by partnering with brands such as By Far, that we lead by example and continue to see the change towards a more sustainable fashion future.”

Teaming up with By Far was an easy decision for Moizant and her co-founder Sophie Hersan – hype surrounding the brand has sky-rocketed in recent years. The best part? All proceeds from the collab are being donated to Women For Women International, a humanitarian organisation that supports women in war-torn countries.

It’s part of an ongoing series of partnerships that reflect Vestiaire’s commitment to sustainability. “The Future Collectibles, we feel are the future icons, the ones that consumers will still be searching for for many years to come,” says Moizant. 

A Look Behind Burberry’s New Planet-Conscious Cashmere Project

With winter fast approaching, it’s officially cashmere sweater season. Soft, luxurious, and most importantly warm, it’s the ultimate staple for this time of the year — particularly for those of us who are WFH for the foreseeable future. Sadly, our love of cashmere can come at a tremendous cost to the environment, particularly in places such as Mongolia, where overgrazing and climate change have led to the degradation of an estimated 70 per cent of grasslands, with a shocking 25 per cent turned to desert. 

That’s why The Burberry Foundation — Burberry’s philanthropic arm — has set up a five-year programme to ensure that cashmere is produced as sustainably as possible, as part of the luxury brand’s mission to give back to society (as seen through their recent partnership with British footballer Marcus Rashford to help children living in poverty). Based in Afghanistan, the cashmere initiative provides goat herders with training on sustainable farming, harvesting techniques and animal welfare practices, helping them to achieve higher quality cashmere and, in turn, higher prices for the natural fibre. 

“Cashmere is a really important raw material for the luxury fashion industry,” Pam Batty, secretary to the Burberry Foundation and VP of corporate responsibility at Burberry, tells Vogue. “We chose Afghanistan [for the programme] because it’s the world’s third-largest producer of cashmere after China and Mongolia. We were also very aware of the social and economic challenges [faced by] the people of Afghanistan — it’s suffered from years of conflict and has been impacted significantly by climate change.”

What does Burberry’s cashmere initiative involve?

Despite 90 per cent of goats in Afghanistan producing cashmere, the vast majority of herders are simply not aware of its value as a luxury raw material. “They’re sitting on a goldmine if the right techniques are employed,” says Agnė Baltaduonytė, advocacy manager at Oxfam in Afghanistan, which is partnering with Burberry on the initiative. “It starts with knowledge: ‘This is how you clean it’, ‘This is how you process it’.”

Helping goat-herders to form collectives allows them to get higher prices for their cashmere. Previously, individual herders would have to sell to middlemen rather than the big traders — meaning they’d be paid significantly less. In less than three years, the initiative has helped raise the price of cashmere in Afghanistan from $17 per kg in 2017 to as high as $31 per kg in 2019. “Now herders have access to one-stop shops inside their communities, where they can collect their cashmere [together] and sell a larger amount for a much higher price,” says Mohammad Ali Roshan, cashmere programme manager at Oxfam in Afghanistan. 

Empowering women, who play a crucial role in these herding communities, is another key aspect of Burberry’s cashmere initiative. “Women are often the ones working with livestock, doing the dehairing [separating fine cashmere from the coarser hairs],” Baltaduonytė says, adding that 28 per cent of the herders supported through the initiative so far are women. “We've been trying to promote women in leadership positions, and having female co-ordinators at the stop shops.”

How will the Burberry initiative help to protect the environment?

Ensuring that herders in Afghanistan have financial security is important from an environmental perspective, too. “We are seeing overstocking of pastures, but it’s not cashmere that’s producing that situation — there are a lot of different livestocks that Afghan producers have,” explains Andrew Nobrega, global programmes director at PUR Projet, a bespoke project development company working on the initiative. “If we want to see a reduction of overstocking, we need to improve the livelihoods of the producers so they have the flexibility to help manage those ecosystems in a better way.”

While land degradation from cashmere production is not currently an issue in Afghanistan, the programme offers training in regenerative farming techniques to prevent it from becoming one in the future. “We're seeking to promote the ideals of good pasture management, which should regenerate the pasture and sequester carbon over time,” Nobrega adds. Enabling herders to achieve higher yields of cashmere from fewer goats will also help protect natural resources in the long-term: “We need [producers] to understand how to protect the sustainability of this programme, so they can continue to produce this [cashmere] in perpetuity.” 

Creating a more responsible fashion industry

The Burberry Foundation’s cashmere initiative shows the impact fashion can have on local communities, by building closer relationships with producers in the supply chain. “It’s about livelihoods,” Batty says, describing how the climate crisis is making living conditions in Afghanistan more precarious. “Last year there was a severe drought, and they're becoming more frequent. Building this resilience in the communities on the ground is really important.”

With sustainability now a key concern for consumers, the project will help brands source cashmere more responsibly by diversifying the range of options on offer. While recycled cashmere is becoming an increasingly popular choice for eco-conscious brands, continuing to support the livelihoods of cashmere herders remains important. “Recycling is fantastic from a climate change and resource perspective,” Nobrega explains. “At the same time, there's a real opportunity to actively improve the livelihoods of people in vulnerable positions, and promote net-positive environmental action; it's finding the right balance.”

The programme is a tangible example of what fashion brands can actually achieve on the ground, in a relatively short space of time — allowing us to make cashmere purchases with a clearer conscience. “Burberry has stepped up and said it wants to address this [issue], and improve the sustainability of the cashmere industry as a whole,” Nobrega says. “[Brands] have to take responsibility and say we represent an industry that cares about climate change, social wellbeing and equity.”

Dolce & Gabbana To Stage Digital See-Now-Buy-Now Runway Shows Every Month

As lockdowns keep the future of fashion shows in limbo – and customers away from stores – Dolce & Gabbana have come up with a digital answer to both challenges. Stefano Gabbana speaks to Vogue about the designers’ newest initiative: monthly digital see-now-buy-now runway shows.

If the pandemic has been posing a threat to the runway show, Dolce & Gabbana have no intention of giving in. Today (13 October) the designers are releasing Walking in the Street, the first in a new monthly series of digital capsule shows released on their website, DolceGabbana.com. “While everything is in development, we try to make something different,” Stefano Gabbana explains on the phone from Milan. “Not to ‘stay alive’,” as he puts it, but to get with the programme; to embrace change. “At the moment, the problem with the market is that people can’t go shopping in stores. So, it’s about e-commerce and social media.”

Released every 30 days, the see-now-buy-now shows will be captured in a moving runway format with about 10 models, 35 looks, and no audience. They will showcase a mix of the brand’s pre collections and new looks designed with each mini-show’s theme in mind. The capsules are separate to the ready-to-wear collections Dolce & Gabbana intend to continue to present to an audience in Milan twice a year, if Covid-19 restrictions permit. “Pictures are beautiful but they’re too static to speak to a big audience. A show allows an audience to see things much better and understand what you do. Every month we’ll be making a capsule collection with a real show, with models, hair, make-up, everything!” Gabbana says. “It’s a big investment.”

Ever since the pandemic put the importance of runway shows up for debate, Dolce & Gabbana have been staunch defenders of the classic presentation format. When July’s haute couture presentations came around and other houses produced moving editorial, they staged a pre-recorded, audience-less fashion show in the classic runway style. When the delayed men’s shows took place that same month, Dolce & Gabbana were the first to return to the live catwalk, albeit with limited attendance. It was followed by three more live shows in September.

“For Domenico and me, the show is the most important thing. We can give the audience a different story than we can with a picture,” Gabbana says. For these designers, sticking to the runway isn’t about vanity or refusing to move with the times. It’s about a presentation format that has historically worked for their business, and one that the fashion industry – despite many alternative ideas – has kept returning to for that same reason: communicating your vision and product to the customer in the clearest way possible. Right now, that’s more important than ever.

“In Europe, from March until now, things have been working very slowly. We’ve lost a lot of money,” Gabbana admits. “We’re working well in Asia through the stores, and in North and South America through e-commerce. We’ve put a lot into e-commerce in the last few months, so we’re thinking about what we can do to make something new and different. We don’t know if it’s going to work or not, but we’ll try,” he says, referring to the new digital capsule initiative.

The first one, released today, takes inspiration from the urban D&G wardrobe of the 1990s: tailored jackets, lace tops, ripped jeans and trainers. (“The second one will be totally different,” Gabbana says, emphasising the freedom that comes with the monthly initiative.) Made immediately available to customers, the capsule collections are openly a more commercial gesture than the designers’ ready-to-wear collections. In a time of uncertainty, that’s crucial.

Ten days ago, Gabbana says, he and Dolce temporarily halted production on their next Alta Moda haute couture collection – which normally shows in early December – because they simply don’t know when they’ll able to present it. Similarly, “a client from Moscow wanted to try a dress, but we can’t send anyone there to do the fitting. For this reason, we’ll probably also have to do the Alta Moda show digitally in January.” As for the men’s show that same month, and the women’s show in February, “We need to wait and see. Every day is a new day. I hope we will have a [live] show, but for sure we will do something, digital or otherwise.”