BoF Voices Day One

The major event that was eyeopening from the first line:

“What does it cost to discriminate one group of minority in the business aspect, what is the contribution to the society if it was an asset rather than cost?” June Sarpong

Personally, I always fought social discriminations. But this line turned the boat around to the business aspects of discrimination.

There is the new normal – diversity is good for your business! As much as we try to think global and react to new needs of our consumers there is always a bit of contradiction in what we say and how we act.

To such and other relevant topics Business of Fashion, through their conference called “Voices of Future”, delivered and succeed in revealing new aspirations from fashion influencers as well as the public eye.

With tons of influential speakers such as Richard Dobbs, Li Edelkoort, John Galliano, James Scully, Marco Bizzarri and others; BoF gathered an event that is all about disruptive innovation in the time of economic and political crisis as well as cherishing our environment and social rights.

When it comes to the social rights there is one speaker who I must be honest, made me melt. Watching the presentation of James Scully, casting director or as BoF likes to call him: “The man behind the model lineups for Tom Ford and Stella McCartney; vocal supporter of more diversity on the catwalks.”. James talked about the old days working at Harpers Bazaar and time he first acknowledge new wave of fashion pollution in terms of ethics. Just a thought of reshaping the industry that was once a dream of many into a social inequality system shakes me up as well as does James.

We must acknowledge the contradiction of pushing prepubescent boy measurements as the new standards in modelling world that is offering clothes to wider age group but mostly attracting powerful, established women of 30 and above. However silly it might be it reminded me of Vogue online article where they are talking about Jaden Smiths glowing skin and its remedy – distillate water. I mean, seriously? To talk about a teenage glowing skin to a public that’s made out of mostly 30 something women. Disgrace. (Find the article here) There is a constant battle in marketing and advertising field of fashion industry.

Though we can not say the fashion industry is in status quo. Polarisation of fashion industry towards political players and economical topics is visible more than ever. Fashion industry has its statements and ain’t afraid to defend them publicly. From Donald Trump to brexit, it was always polarised among the grater good and was a key player in assimilating minorities into society. Fashion was always a game changer and I believe it will evolve into even bigger socially active member in future.

Let’s all be honest to ourselves, it produces and sells apparel products. At the end of the day every business is about numbers, but what it does during the day is up to each actor to decide.  A certain change is visible in evolution of fashion industry, but there’s still good amount of work to be done.

I will finish this article with quote from the president and CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Summit – the world’s largest forum on sustainable fashion, Eva Kruse:

“If we change fashion, we can change everything.”


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