It has only been six months since Wear the Future launched the first edition of Digital Cruise. Within a few months, the first see-now, buy-now sustainable show was featured by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), broadcasted on PBS and had its pictures published in more than a dozen countries. This year, Digital Cruise II brings the viewers to the next level of consciousness. Here is what creator Annabelle Azadé had to share about the show’s next iteration.
It has been a few months since you did this first edition of Digital Cruise. What inspired you to do it?
I usually organize a fashion show in partnership with Nolcha during the New York Fashion Week. I believe that 2020 all forced us to innovate and made us think differently. This included new formats to explore.
Summer was starting, and I usually go to France for the holidays. Since no one was able to travel, I thought to myself, why not create a nice, fashion visual journey where you “cruise” in Los Angeles, from the sporty vibes to the pool, with a touch of nature and hills?
I think it was also a great way to explore and broaden my network in Los Angeles, since, when people speak of fashion and high fashion, they always think of New York and the East Coast in general, but the West Coast actually has a lot to offer, and it is crucial to mix inspiration to move forward.
What is the context for Digital Cruise II: Earth Voyage?
I feel like the pandemic is far from being over. We all pretend that the worst is behind us, but I think that we all have reached this unspoken agreement that we truly don’t know what is going to happen next. We are hoping that New York Fashion Week is going to happen, and since the CFDA has just confirmed this, it feels like a great breath of fresh air.
But humanity has also learned a big lesson from the past months: we do not control anything. Some of us knew that about our own health, but what about planet Earth’s health? Since we just celebrated Earth Day, I think it is also a really good time for all of us to reflect on how we dress — what we represent when we present ourselves.
Fashion Revolution has shared some very concerning numbers; more than 98% of workers who are involved in fast fashion are not paid to cover their basic needs, such as paying rent and feeding themselves. I also read that the new generation mostly wears an outfit once; they buy a shirt for five bucks and only wear it once.
I am grateful for wonderful initiatives, such as Rent the Runway, that allow subscribers to wear high-quality designs and ship it back for a monthly fee.
In this context, I feel like Earth Voyage will be a central inner journey into what we have done to the planet recently — not only that fashion is the second most polluting industry, but also that we need to deeply think about what we have done in order to do better in a very near future.
What are you hoping to achieve this year?
I believe that Wear the Future’s goal is to help people understand that anything that has a value has a cost. You cannot expect high-quality for a cheap price. It takes time, dedication and passion to do something well. Sustainable fashion now has many options, from inclusive sizes to gender fluidity, resort wear, loungewear, hipster style and casual style.
The goal of our second edition is to show that we will keep our mission to broaden the spectrum of sustainability and help designers rise internationally. We want you to have fun while watching it, hopefully buy a few items, but, mostly, we want you to be entertained and amazed by the variety of sustainable designers out there!
We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible talents and sweet souls who are entirely dedicated to fashion, and we are hoping to elevate the conversation around fashion in the next few months, right before fashion week.
What has changed over the past year for you?
I was invited this season to speak on a video published by Run Aray for the United Nations and felt very fortunate to do so. I feel like people have been having a lot of time to think about what they can do to improve in their lives.
The fashion industry was kind of walking on its head, so to speak, with up to 80 designs per couture maison per season. We all knew that it was “burnt out” the way it was structured, but we decided to turn a blind eye.
I remember a highly-regarded designer saying on TV in France that he did not know how smaller designers could keep up and that some people were quitting because they could not find the inspiration. Sometimes that they had to hire “ghost designers” to make sure the designs would be ready on time.
It was about time to stop and have a break. I am not saying we need to dress less or shop less; of course we all love to have beautiful wardrobes, and when you work in fashion, you will inevitably wear trendier garments than your friends who are doctors. That’s a fact.
However, I feel like for the past year, people have really started wondering where their food was from, what they were ingesting in their body, and that mindset includes clothes. In a way, we all knew this in the fashion industry, but consumers had a lot of time during the lockdown to educate themselves online, and they started shifting their way of consuming, from buying responsible furniture to buying organic plants, seeds, locally-grown food and, eventually, sustainable fashion.
What is a good sustainable fashion brand, according to Wear the Future’s standards?
A good sustainable brand knows where the garments are made and who makes them, on top of paying attention to detail and how the designers are treated.
A good sustainable brand will have a close relationship with its customers, including online, sharing feedback, experience and making sure the supply chain is responsible from A to Z. This includes compostable wrapping, as well as recyclable packaging, brand tag, etc.
All in all, a good sustainable brand does good, makes the consumer feel great and has beautiful designs — in all sizes! But, mostly, this whole journey has to be honest, and the project has to come from the bottom of the heart. Consumers are becoming more and more educated, and they do not fall for “greenwashing” anymore. Where there is sincerity, there can only grow success.