Fashionista Clothes Shoes and Designing Accesories for Women Gentlemen and Kids, Ropa Calzado y Accesorios de Moda para Damas Caballeros y Niños, Fashion Clothing Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:14:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fashionista 32 32 127480589 2020 fashion trends: Casual luxury, polka dots, a sea of green. – Los Angeles Times Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:14:01 +0000 A sunny sense of optimism ran through the spring and summer 2020 collections presented here during New York Fashion Week, with labels providing the seeds of hope — in some cases literally — that brighter [...]

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A sunny sense of optimism ran through the spring and summer 2020 collections presented here during New York Fashion Week, with labels providing the seeds of hope — in some cases literally — that brighter days for the country and our planet are just around the corner.

Although part of that feeling flowed naturally from the sunny hues and floral themes that traditionally characterize spring collections, there were a number of other trends, in silhouette, theme and color, that underscored the upbeat vibe. Here are five worth watching, including an optimistic appreciation of American sportswear.

Relaxed silhouettes

The strong-shouldered power suit that elbowed its way to center stage at the fall and winter 2019 runway shows is still very much in evidence (though, perhaps, softened ever so slightly), but the newness in the spring collections came by way of an abundance of super-relaxed, free-flowing and dialed-down options. Standouts here included Oscar de la Renta, where designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim catered to the caftan crowd with gauzy, V-necked, floor-grazing numbers trimmed in beaded fringe.


Also, there was Brandon Maxwell, who’s known for his red-carpet-worthy gowns (including Lady Gaga’s 2019 Met Gala scene-stealer) and who showed just how luxurious the classic American sportswear combo of a slouchy blazer or cardigan paired with blue jeans — ripped ones at that — can look in the right designer’s hands. (On a side note, Maxwell surprised attendees by sending his new menswear offerings down the runway alongside the women’s.)

A woman walks the runway in a look from Brandon Maxwell: beige sweater over a white collared shirt and blue jeans, ripped at the knee.

A look from the spring and summer 2020 Brandon Maxwell runway collection Sept. 7 during New York Fashion Week.

(Bebeto Matthews / AP Photo)

Two of this fashion week’s most memorable exercises in laid-back luxe came, perhaps not surprisingly, from L.A.-based labels. The first was Tom Ford, a designer whose runways are routinely filled with near-unobtainable glamour. This season he lured the fashion flock to the decidedly unglamorous venue of an out-of-service subway station to watch models parade the platform in T-shirts, leather motorcycle jackets and slouchy blazers, sleeves rolled back or pushed up, and paired with unfussy ball skirts or athletic-style short shorts.

The inspirational starting point, he said in the postshow notes, was a 1965 photo of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick emerging from a manhole. “This season for me is about simplicity. Which is not to be confused with simple,” he wrote in the notes. “I think that it is a time for ease and, in that way, a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world.”

A look from the spring and summer 2020 Tom Ford runway collection: a simple black top and slouchy orange skirt

A look from the spring and summer 2020 Tom Ford runway collection modeled Sept. 9 during New York Fashion Week.

(Frank Franklin II / AP Photo)

The second was Baja East, relaunched after a three-season New York Fashion Week hiatus with co-founder and creative director Scott Studenberg, using a New Year’s road trip to Joshua Tree National Park as the jumping-off point for a range of super-slouchy hoodies, slipdresses and athletic shorts in shades of sky blue and desert sunset red as well as billowy skirts and swim cover-ups printed with Joshua tree blooms.


Eye-catching belts

The wide, strappy or otherwise eye-catching belt turned out to be one of fashion week’s unexpected accessory stars. At Oscar de la Renta, wide leather belts were cinched with raffia-trimmed buckles. At Gabriela Hearst, the buckles were slabs of polished geodes, some the size of drink coasters.

Although most labels seemed content to keep the leather belt exactly where it’s always been — around the waist — that wasn’t the case at Proenza Schouler. Perhaps as part of the “firm commitment to unfettered creative experimentation” designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez cited in their show notes, belts ranged harnesslike from the waist up and over the shoulders, forming a leather V with buckles at the shoulder joints on some looks, dangled unbuckled over one hip on others and seeming to play hide-and-seek with draped fabrics at the neck on still others.

A look from the spring and summer 2020 Proenza Schouler runway collection

A look from the spring and summer 2020 Proenza Schouler runway collection presented on Sept. 10 during New York Fashion Week.

(Fernanda Calfat / Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Even Proenza’s handbags got a healthy belting: Many were adorned with wide, black patent leather belts with chunky buckles that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Santa suit.

A peck of polka dots

Pattern-wise, the polka dot made an unusually strong showing in the spring and summer 2020 collections, sprinkled liberally through the collections of Tory Burch, Kate Spade New York and Carolina Herrera, to name just a few. A particularly deep bench of dots could be found in the Michael Kors Collection, in which the peppy pattern helped stoke the sense of “positivity and optimism” cited in the show notes by popping up on crepe de chine wrap dresses, puff-shoulder crop tops and asymmetric ruffle dresses in a collection that also included cheery fruit prints (cherries and lemons were spotted) and a boatload of nautical references (sailor caps and anchor motifs).

Two models walk the runway in polka-dotted looks from Carolina Herrera: one in a short white dress with black spots; the other, a long black dress with white spots

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s spring and summer 2020 runway collection modeled Sept. 9 during New York Fashion Week.

(Peter White / WireImage)


For L.A.’s BLDWN, which presented a Marfa, Texas-inspired collection here this week, smudgy gray polka dots cropped up on a woman’s T-shirt, inspired by the hide of an Appaloosa horse.

And, for those who can’t wait six months to start poppin’ dots, the see-now-buy-now Tommy X Zendaya collection that Tommy Hilfiger presented at the Apollo Theater in Harlem during New York Fashion Week has plenty of the polka pattern to go around.

A sea of green

From the Tomo Koizumi organza extravaganza early during the shows to Marc Jacobs’ emotional closer at the Park Avenue Armory on Sept. 11, it was shades of green that reigned supreme this New York Fashion Week.

Among the brands hoping you’ll exchange your green for theirs were Kate Spade New York, which offered forest-green skirt suits and leather shirtdresses — and, in a nice touch, show notes printed on paper that contained wildflower seeds, which attendees were encouraged to plant; and Coach 1941, which served up crewneck sweaters with intarsia-knit shrimp, snap-front shirtdresses and buttery leather jackets. (In addition, a packet of flower seeds was set at each seat for attendees to take home and plant.) Also, there was Brandon Maxwell’s collection with crop tops and miniskirts in mint green; and turtleneck sweaters, suits and bandeau-top dresses all in forest green.

A model wears a sage green dress from Christian Siriano’s 2020 runway collection

A sage green dress from the spring and summer 2020 Christian Siriano runway collection modeled Sept. 7 during New York Fashion Week.

(Richard Drew / AP Photo)

However, the designer most enthusiastically embracing the season’s verdant vibe had to be Christian Siriano, whose collection served up a sea of green in shades such as seafoam (wide-leg trousers, shimmery dresses), sage (flare-legged trousers, crystal-embellished blazers), forest (pleated strapless dresses, wide-legged trousers) and a metallic aqua (shorts, shawl-collar blazers and a belted tuxedo top paired with a layered tulle gown).

Meditations on America


Although the overt political statements of past New York Fashion Weeks were largely MIA (the notable exception being a “Vote or Die” T-shirt at the Pyer Moss show that included the words “for real this time”), several labels used the notion of America — and what it represents — as an inspirational starting point for their spring and summer collections. Two of the most notable to touch on the topic were Michael Kors Collection and Prabal Gurung, and although they started in the same place, they ended up in very different places.

A runway model in a star-spangled red dress by Michael Kors

A star-spangled spring and summer 2020 runway look from the Michael Kors Collection modeled Sept. 11 during New York Fashion Week.

(Richard Drew / AP Photo)

Kors’ took the more traditional route here, with a color palette heavy on red, white and (especially navy) blues. Stripes adorned handbags and trimmed tennis sweaters, and skirts, sweater vests and shoes were festooned with silver star embroidery. Dresses were spangled with star sequin embroidery. Combined with the naval motifs (anchor detailing, officer’s coats and sailor caps galore), the finale felt a bit like a 1950s-era Fourth of July parade.

The collection from Prabal Gurung, which marked his eponymous label’s 10th anniversary, came at the optimism of America from the point of view of someone born in Singapore and raised in Nepal.

“What has happened to me truly wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” Gurung said backstage before his spring and summer 2020 men’s and women’s runway show. “I came to America. I wanted to work in fashion. I started my brand 10 years ago and I only became my whole complete self in America. I wanted to celebrate that optimistic spirit — especially right now when everything is so politically and culturally divisive.”

Runway models in red rose-motif looks from Prabal Gurung

Rose-motif looks from the spring and summer 2020 Prabal Gurung runway collection modeled Sept. 8 during New York Fashion Week.

(Craig Ruttle / AP Photo)

The question he asked in his show notes — “Who gets to be American?” — stemmed from a business meeting he had. “I’ve been here 20 years,” he said. “I’m an American citizen, and I’m in a meeting talking about what it means to be American, and one of the suits turns to me and says, ‘Well, how can you define America? You don’t look American.’ … That made me want to have the conversation — and to celebrate the American spirit through my lens.”

Gurung’s runway riff on America meant the white cotton shirting fabric of classic American sportswear used for button-front dresses, skirts and tops; denim, America’s favorite fabric, used for work jackets, overalls and dresses; and scraps of white fabric from his archives stitched together with blue thread as a nod to the patchwork origins of the U.S. citizenry.

A model wears a navy blue dress with red and white tie-dye circles, a nod to Prabal Gurung’s childhood interactions with American hippies in Nepal.

Prabal Gurung’s ode to America included tie-dye pieces that hearkened back to his interaction with American hippies as a child in Nepal.

(Craig Ruttle / AP Photo)

More subtle references came by way of a recurring rose motif — Gurung pointed out that the rose is the official flower of the United States — blooming on pieces throughout the collection as well as a range of tie-dyed dresses, T-shirts, tops and sweatpants inspired by a Nepalese childhood interacting with the American hippie contingent.

At the end of the show, when the models hit the runway for the finale, each was wearing a beauty-pageant-style sash emblazoned with “Who gets to be American?”

It’s a question well worth asking.

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How to Quickly Ripen Bananas Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:13:57 +0000 To me, baking season is now in full swing as the weather has been cooling off where I live. I was making a cake to share with you all (next week) and given what day [...]

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To me, baking season is now in full swing as the weather has been cooling off where I live. I was making a cake to share with you all (next week) and given what day I had better sunlight for photography, I decided to ripen my bananas sooner than expected to go ahead and bake the cake. It dawned on me that knowing how to quickly ripen bananas for baking is one of those things that I’ve been doing for years, being a banana bread obsessed person. Ha. And I have a feeling that a lot of you already know this, but just in case anyone didn’t know this little trick I thought I’d share.

There are two methods I tend to use based on how long I have. One method to quickly ripen bananas will take just a day or two, while the other will get them ready for bread-making in just under an hour.

If you have very yellow (maybe even a little green) bananas but you want/need to use them for baking that day, here’s what you do. Simply place the bananas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300°F for 40-45 minutes. I don’t even bother flipping them halfway through. Once they cool, you’re ready to go!

If you have a day or two but the only bananas at the store were very yellow (maybe even a little green), try to buy a ripe avocado or even an apple that looks like it’s maybe getting toward the end of its ripe life. I think it’s easier to tell with avocados, like bananas, but the goal is to find something that is ripe and place it in a brown paper bag (like you would get from the grocery store) with the bananas. Then place in a cupboard or somewhere dark (not the refrigerator though) and this will speed up the ripening process.

These are just what I do when I am in NEED of banana bread or other banana-based baked goods but can’t wait for them to ripen. Anyone else have other tricks or hacks that work for them? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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A Design Kit: New Collage Scans and ADK+!! Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:13:52 +0000 Hi friends!! Our team at A Color Story + A Design Kit has been working hard to release A Design Kit 2.0, our biggest update to the app—ever! We can’t wait to tell you about [...]

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Hi friends!! Our team at A Color Story + A Design Kit has been working hard to release A Design Kit 2.0, our biggest update to the app—ever! We can’t wait to tell you about all the new, exciting things going on in ADK 2.0.

First up, we’re SO excited to introduce the new Collage section to the app!! The Collage section features vintage-inspired cutouts, scans, nature sketches and more to spruce up your photos and designs. We love how this is reminiscent of our teenage years scouring magazines to make fun collages—now we can do that on our phones! (Isn’t technology incredible?!)

The Botanical pack featured in the photo above comes free with this update. We’re also so happy to introduce ADK+ to the app, so you can now subscribe to gain access to everything—over 700 assets including brushes, stickers, fonts and more! We’re excited to offer the choice between monthly or annual subscriptions to ADK+ as this is something we’ve never done before and we’re super curious to see how you all like it!

We love using the new Collage elements over photos and utilizing them almost like stickers in the design above! Speaking of stickers, we’ve launched ADK 2.0 with a new pack of travel stickers that we can’t wait to see you use. All of this, and a new way to navigate the app, which we think has made it even more user-friendly!

We’ve been having so much fun creating designs and playing with the collage scans as we’ve been working on ADK 2.0. As a reminder, ADK+ subscribers will gain all-access to everything A Design Kit—that’s everything previously released and everything to come in the future! Update your version of A Design Kit to play with all the new features, and use the hashtag #adesignkit so we can see your A+ edits!

xo, Team ACS

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Meet Michelle Duncan, A Beauty Exec By Day And Fashion Designer By Night – Forbes Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:13:59 +0000 A look from DUNCAN’s latest collection. DUNCAN If you want to see an exemplary example of a multitasker, look no further than Michelle Duncan. She’s the founder of the fashion line DUNCAN, a womenswear collection [...]

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A look from DUNCAN's latest collection.

A look from DUNCAN’s latest collection.


If you want to see an exemplary example of a multitasker, look no further than Michelle Duncan. She’s the founder of the fashion line DUNCAN, a womenswear collection that’s contributing its own vocabulary on how the modern woman should dress. 

While her brand is young—it’s only in its second season—it already has a legion of influential supporters including creative and art world cool girls Jen Brill and Sarah Hoover, fashion world staples Leigh Lezark, Vanessa Traina, and Michael Avedon, VOGUE editors like Sally Singer as well as significant fashion influencers like Diet Prada. 

The most enviable thing about her accomplishment is that she’s managed to do this in addition to her high-powered day job as the Global Partnership, Collaborations and Creative Brand Strategy Lead at the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC).

“Some people in their personal life train for triathlons, some binge watch Netflix. I choose to design clothes,” says the designer-cum-executive.

Women have far more responsibility than any other time in history, going from work to after work meetings, to looking after the family or pursuing high-demand hobbies in their spare time. This means many newly-launched fashion brands are by women, like Ms. Duncan, who want to address the demands of the modern female. They have a vision, see a white space, and dive in.

“DUNCAN is for all women but in particular for the ones with edge, or who aspire to have a bit of edge,” she says. “It’s for the female who has a demanding day schedule but who is also for the night and can wear these pieces in both settings.”

The collection’s silhouettes are highly-tailored and structured, in dark tones with elements and details like feathers, buttons and studs. This aesthetic has earned the line the title-in-jest of the brand for goth girls gone corporate because its the epitome of dark glamour in the world of American fashion known for the beautiful, ethereal and/or minimal.

Although DUNCAN is hardly the Morticia Addams or Robert Smith sort of goth, instead, it embodies the aesthetic through its darker tones coupled with a contemporary take on silhouettes that feel as though they hail from another era. Think tailored silhouettes with nipped waists, pleated midi-length hems, long-sleeves and flat collars melded with softness, sultriness, and femininity. It’s for the sort of women who are looking for an alternative, yet appropriate, way to dress day-to-day—a little naughty with the nice.

“I was totally inspired [to launch DUNCAN] by the people in the world. People are taking action, women, specifically, are taking action,” when asked about what drove her to launch her line. “Women are having a cultural reckoning and I felt so influenced and inspired by their courage to act and rise up. So, it was the exact right time to take action on a dream for what I believe in and express that in a visual interpretation through design of clothes for the complex, multi-faceted and dynamic women.”

In a country where work-life balance is nothing short of a myth, Ms. Duncan has been able to launch her brand because of her job and not in spite of it.

The Estée Lauder Companies are known for their supportive work environment, constantly being ranked amongst the best employers in the world, specifically for women, for which it is the ranked #1 employer by this publication.

Ms. Duncan herself has been there for almost 7 years. “For a millennial, that’s almost unheard of,” she jests. And ELC have been more than just morally supportive, they have materialized their support in the form a generous cosmetics sponsorship through MAC cosmetics for her Spring/Summer ’20 show, which happened this past week. 

“This trend—of design incubation from within through various sources—is also quite modern. Look at what LVMH does for Jonathan Anderson, Virgil Abloh and even Yoon Ambush. Those guys juggle multiple careers and do it all. Same for the guys over in Silicon Valley. People have multiple facets in their lives now and I believe companies understand that, besides it brings extra perspective and new sources of creativity to the picture.”

While there are a myriad of reasons why she’s kept her day job, from the support to the passion, she’s transparent about one very important aspect—the bottom line. “DUNCAN is self-funded right now, so we still need my income to pay the bills!” she laughs. 

“I want DUNCAN to embolden females to go out and take on their world. I want it to be a mentality for us–if you are a DUNCAN girl, then you are suited up in your armor and ready to go after life. I hope to inspire women, the way I’ve been inspired, to be a force and feel invincible.”

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Fast fashion companies like Zara, Boohoo, and H&M are bad for the environment and economy – Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:13:57 +0000 The fashion industry, if you haven’t already noticed, is a dreadful mess, and big-toe shoes and other go-home-fashion-you’re-drunk trends are the least of its problems. Apparel and footwear production currently accounts for 8.1 percent of [...]

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The fashion industry, if you haven’t already noticed, is a dreadful mess, and big-toe shoes and other go-home-fashion-you’re-drunk trends are the least of its problems. Apparel and footwear production currently accounts for 8.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or as much as the total climate impact of the entire European Union. Euromonitor analysts warn that the fashion market’s annual 5 percent growth risks “exerting an unprecedented strain on planetary resources” by raising annual production to more than 100 million tons by 2030. If no action is taken, emissions from textile manufacturing alone are projected to skyrocket by 60 percent, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Dana Thomas, a veteran journalist who has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others, doesn’t mince statistics in the early chapters of Fashionopolis: The Prices of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes. “Fast fashion” — which is to say cheap, disposable clothing, made indiscriminately, imprudently, and often without consideration for environmental and labor conditions by companies like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Nasty Gal, and Fashion Nova — is a disease, and both the planet and its people are paying the price. Zara alone churns out roughly 840 million garments every year for its 6,000 stores worldwide, often at sub-poverty wages for its workers. Once-thriving rivers in China, India, Bangladesh, wrecked by wastewater effluent from factories, have transformed into biologically dead zones replete with cancer-causing chemicals. Tiny plastic microfibers, shed by synthetic garments during laundry, are inundating our water supply and food chain. But how did we wind up here? Through her reporting, Thomas pulls together disparate geopolitical and anthropological threads to compose a gripping narrative of the complex world we live in, and how it’s changed the way we dress through the decades.

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. As the author makes clear, solutions are available. Thomas makes her own journey around the globe speaking to designers, scientists, and activists who are trying to right the ship before it’s too late, whether it’s through breakthroughs in fiber-recycling technology, cruelty-free lab-grown materials, hyperlocal manufacturing, or alternative retail platforms such as resale and rental, which can sate the Instagram generation’s desire for novelty without piling on fashion’s negative impacts. “This is a book about hope,” she tells me. What follows is our conversation, which has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Let’s talk about the name of your book, Fashionopolis. You wrote that it stems from both “Cottonopolis” in Manchester — the world’s first major manufacturing center during the first Industrial Revolution — and Fritz Lang’s dystopian film Metropolis. Both paint pretty sobering pictures. Is today’s fashion system equally an indictment of capitalism and greed writ large?

My husband, who is in finance, read the book, and he teased me and said, “You know, this book is a little bit Marxist.” And I don’t know if I think of myself as a Marxist, but I do think the book reflects what’s going on right now, which is the unbridled capitalism that we’ve had for the past 20 years with globalization and the digital age. That you can become the second-richest person in the world, like Amancio Ortega, who owns Inditex and thus Zara, by selling gobs of throwaway clothes and paying pennies to people to make them — that, to me, is the ultimate snapshot of wealth disparity that everyone’s complaining about. If a piece of clothing costs you $19.99, that means the person who made it was paid 19 cents.

I do think that this book is about fashion, but it’s also about society today. I see myself not only as a fashion journalist but also as a cultural social anthropologist. Clothes are easy to relate to because we all buy them, wear them, wash them, have them in our houses, and you don’t need an MBA or an engineering degree to understand what I’m talking about. And so I use clothes to talk about a bigger-picture story like globalization, the backlash to globalization, global warming, wage and income disparity, you know, capitalism — unbridled capitalism — and its impact on the planet and society as a whole.

People ask me what this book is about. I say it’s about humanity. And they’re like, “What?” But it is, it’s about humanity and how it really hasn’t changed. It’s been this way since Richard Arkwright first launched his Water Frame spinning machine back in Manchester 250 years ago [to mechanically spin thread with minimal human labor]. He started something that we thought was great but in fact put us on the path to where we are today politically, socially, and economically.

It’s hard to believe that “fast fashion” only started really in the late 1980s — Zara gets a lot of the credit or blame for taking the idea of quick-response manufacturing and really running with it. Now it’s practically the norm. You mention in your book three main casualties of the business model: jobs in developed economies, human rights in developing nations, and the environment. How did we, as a civilization, become so inured to these levels of destruction?

Because it all went offshore, so it’s not in our face. What was in our face was the economic disruption. We saw the fallout in places like Lowell, Massachusetts; Florence, Alabama; and the Carolinas, where we had manufacturing in America before it went offshore, but we didn’t see the rest of the destruction. We don’t see the landfills, we don’t see where all those clothes that we donate go, we don’t see the poor people and how miserable they are in the places where they’re sewing these clothes.

One of the women I spoke to for the book, Dilys Williams, who is the director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the University of the Arts London, told me that in the old days — and not even in the old days but pre-offshoring — we always knew somebody who was in the garment industry, whether it was your cousin, a neighbor down the street, or someone at your church or at your school, so you had a person related to what you were wearing, and you thought about them. But once we removed that emotional investment from the equation, we cared less about our clothes. And so then we started treating them like fast food.

Yes, the generations that came before, especially the “make do and menders” of the Second World War, had a much different relationship with their clothes.

Exactly. We used to take Home Ec classes, so then you knew what it took to sew clothes. Once even that went away, there was a big change in our regard toward them.

You used the term “fashion bulimia,” which encapsulates the bingeing and purging that’s happening. This is learned behavior, though.

It is. It is. Because we have been living in the land of plenty for so long; there hasn’t been a Depression or war where we’ve had to rip out our lawns and plant Victory Gardens. We can just get in the car and go drive down the road and buy vegetables. We’ve raised whole generations to put convenience and cost ahead of anything else. And so we want disposable and we want cheaper, cheaper, cheaper.

A young woman with a breathing mask over her nose and mouth sits and works at a sewing machine in a garment factory.
Bangladeshi workers work at a garments factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. Bangladesh produces much of the world’s fast fashion.
Mehedi Hasan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

But it’s what designer Maria Cornejo, who used to fly halfway across the world in business class to source a 30-cent sweater for other fashion companies, refers to in the book as a “false economy.” You think you’re saving money by giving everybody plastic cutlery that you can just toss, but the environmental impact of making and throwing away all that stuff is actually very costly to society in different ways.

So that’s what I think I’m trying to talk about in this book, that we need to consume less, better. If I were to have hashtags besides #Fashionopolis, it would be #buylessbetter and #keepthingslonger and #makethingsbetter. We need to put integrity back into everything we do. We have to dial our consumption and disposal back because the world just isn’t big enough to hold it all.

You note in your book that creative theft, greed, and a lack of regard for people and the environment have always been a part of fashion. Has technology like social media — and the influencer culture it has engendered — accelerated this?

Yeah, definitely. And that whole Cinderella syndrome — where you wear it once, you post on Instagram, and then you get rid of it — is a disaster. And that there’s a whole culture that says if you’ve been seen in an outfit three times, you need to rid yourself of it. That’s why the study that said the average garment is worn seven times before it’s thrown away — and in China, it’s three times, as I was told by YCloset — is very disturbing. We’re not investing value into the clothes that we’re buying. And we need to start doing that.

But my two favorite women on the planet right now are the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex because they’re popularizing the “royal rewear.” These are the two most high-profile women on the planet today, the biggest of the biggest influencers. And they’re trotting out the same coats and dresses over and over for high-profile events and showing that you can wear that Alexander McQueen coat about 10 different ways and it always looks great. I love this. And I think they have decided to try to change this consumption monster, attach value to their purchases, and sort of put those Cinderella-syndrome influencers on Instagram to shame, which they should. Another hashtag: #royalrewear. Let’s just embrace it and do it.

Forever 21 recently announced it is filing for bankruptcy; should we celebrate this or bemoan the fact that it’s being supplanted by digitally native faster-fashion players like Boohoo and Fashion Nova?

Forever 21, as I learned when I was going around the sweatshops in LA, was one of the companies that was taking advantage of the underground workforce in Los Angeles. Yes, we have sweatshops in LA; I’ve seen them with my own eyes and it’s pretty dreadful. Not quite as grim as Bangladesh, but not far off and just up the street from some pretty posh offices and restaurants in downtown LA. So if that’s one less company sourcing from those places and will help shut them down, great.

And it kind of proves that the fast-fashion model isn’t sustainable. If you’re turning out domestic made-in-sweatshop clothes for pennies instead of dollars an hour and you still can’t survive, then that model isn’t the right business model. H&M is in trouble. All these companies are sprinting. I think they’ve been sprinting for a long time, and they’re all gonna run out of gas pretty soon.

I feel like the companies that are going to do really well in the future are the ones who are not following the economies of scale but instead producing only what they need, making to order, and producing near their markets. I don’t have an MBA, but for me, that makes sense, and it’s good business.

There are other alternatives to the typical retail business model, too, like rental and resale, which are both catching on like gangbusters. Rent the Runway hit a $1 billion valuation, traditional retailers like Ann Taylor, Express, and Urban Outfitters have launched their own rental schemes, and even hallowed department stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney are dipping into resale with ThredUp.

People ask me how I’ve changed the way I dress since I started working on the book. I’ve got some nice clothes from Alabama Chanin, I’m going to buy some colored cotton from Sally Fox, who is a genius, genius person, and I’ve been renting for special events. When I had to go to a black-tie gala at the Cannes Film Festival I rented a Diane von Furstenberg gown that I probably would never have bought because it would have been too expensive and I’d be like, “How many times am I going to wear a gown like this?” But I felt like a princess, got a bazillion compliments, and then the next day packed it off to the people I rented it from. And I push my daughter, who’s 19, to do that. If there’s a prom or a wedding, let’s rent the dress, let’s rent the suit. Let’s look fantastic for a fraction of the price and then put the clothes back into circulation like taking a book from the library.

There are little tiny changes in behavior we can do, like washing our clothes less. When we do, wash them with cold water on a short cycle. They’ll still get clean but they’ll use less water and less energy and release fewer polluting microfibers. And our clothes will last longer.

Resale is huge. I just did a huge Marie Kondo purge. I put some things on The RealReal and I put some things on the Vestiaire Collective and it was great. As my friend Cameron Silver says, they’re pre-loved — not used, not vintage: pre-loved. And most of what I put up sold and somebody else is loving them.

One thing that’s been in the headlines is the G7 Fashion Pact led by Kering, which has 32 companies representing 150 brands pledging to tackle climate change, ocean protection, and biodiversity. But an argument several NGOs have put forth is that the time for voluntary commitments for corporations is over and what we need are legally binding commitments, like the Accord for Fire and Building in Safety in Bangladesh or government regulation, as recently suggested by the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK’s House of Commons. Where should the onus for fixing fashion lie?

On brands, without question. Especially the super-mega ones run by people who have made billions; they will not change a thing unless they have to because they’re reaping so much profit. And it doesn’t have to be forced by law, it can also be forced by shame, or by just pressure from within. Look at what Stella McCartney did with Kering. I don’t think Kering would have necessarily embraced sustainability had she not been there poking executives with a stick. When she first started her company 20 years ago and said she wouldn’t use fur or leather, everybody thought she was out of her mind. And when she said no to PVC and got the whole group not to use PVC, sequin companies who used PVC said, “Ah, if we’re going to lose the whole Kering group, which buys sequins every year, we better come up with an alternative for them.”

The exterior of an H&M story with pedestrians walking by. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

So for shifts to happen, it has to be really strong-minded changemakers like Stella McCartney poking people with a stick, it has to be economically viable, or it has to be put down in law. But it’s on the brands. And the poking can come from consumers; it can be something as simple as a boycott — “We’re not going to buy this stuff anymore, this stuff is terrible, change it up.” Look how quickly we got rid of plastic straws. It shows that consumers can push brand new companies and businesses to change very fast if we put our minds to it.

So here’s the $3 trillion question: What would a Fashionopolis that is equitable and just look like?

That’s a good question. Well, I would not be visiting some of those sweatshops that I saw in Bangladesh and Vietnam, which were just appalling. And I wouldn’t be going to see dead rivers filled with runoff from jeans-washing factories in Ho Chi Minh that made me want to vomit. There would be fish in that stream. You wouldn’t have bedridden 26-year-olds who can’t have children because a factory collapsed on them. You wouldn’t have landfills full of clothes. You’d have more fields of indigo and organic cotton.

Gosh, if we could just go back to organic cotton, I feel like most of our ills would be solved. We wouldn’t have fashion entrepreneurs who possess more wealth than many countries. And the divide between the people who make clothes and the people who are telling them to make the clothes would not be so vast. And there would be more accountability and fewer containers of clothes falling into seas because they wouldn’t be shipped all around the world. And ideally we would have sewing classes back in school so everybody knows how to sew on a button and repair a hem. And it’s good for you! It’s been proven that you can reach the same state of zen doing needlework as you can by doing yoga.

I also feel like if people sewed more, they would have a more realistic idea of how much things should cost, rather than these artificially deflated prices.

After the stock market crashed in 1929 and all the rich people lost their fortunes, Hattie Carnegie, the retailer, to stay in business, started an off-the-peg ready-to-wear collection for the middle market called Spectator Sports. Raymond Chandler referred to it in The Long Goodbye as the “secretary special.” And one of those suits or dresses from Spectator Sports cost $19.99 — and this was in the early ’30s. And that’s the same price you pay at H&M or Zara [despite inflation over the decades].

Is anything else we buy today the same price as it was at the height of the Depression? Of course not. Is anything we’re buying today the same price it was in 1928 before the crash? Of course it’s not. Eggs were, let’s say, 20 cents and now they’re $3. A pound of ground beef was less than 30 cents. Everything’s gone up 100 times but we’re still paying the same price for ready-to-wear, off-the-peg “secretary specials.” That for me was clarifying, no matter what the book was going to be about. How did we get to that point where we’re still paying the same price as we were during the Depression?

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