Style Maxine Bédat Urges the Fashion Industry to Make a Change Now, Not in 2030
Giorgio Armani on Fashion’s Future—And Why He’s Not Slowing Down
Still thriving after a five-decade career, Giorgio Armani, in a rare interview, speaks from the heart about an industry he loves—and how it needs to change.“I’m ready for the runway, and I don’t have the clothes,” Mr. Armani says in his office, surrounded by portraits of himself, during his first in-person interview since the coronavirus paralyzed both his industry and his hometown of Milan more than a year ago. In another, the 86-year-old says, he dreams he is the central character of a play and starts singing. And then there is the recurring nightmare—Mr. Armani perched on a cliff edge over a daunting precipice—that has haunted him throughout the pandemic.
Maxine Bédat is the director of, a non-profit working with scientists and citizens to make the fashion industry more sustainable, ethical, and equitable. Her new book, , debuts on June 1st.
With the buzz ofcoming to an end, and just about every brand celebrating their latest “sustainable” project or collection, it’s a good time to do a status check on the fashion industry. Where have we been, where are we now, and where are we going? How are we coming to grips with our industry’s massive social and environmental footprint?
The Costume Institute Announces a Two-Part Exhibition on American Fashion for 2021 and 2022
“In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will open on September 18, 2021, and will remain on display when “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” opens on May 5, 2022 in the period rooms of the American Wing. Both shows will run through September 5, 2022. Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, has an uncanny sense of timing. Despite the advance planning needed to organize an exhibition, he always seems to land on a topical theme, and stateside the subject of American identity is topic number one.
A lot of people have a lot of ideas about how to solve fashion’s: circularity, natural fibers, recycled plastic fibers, zero-emissions fibers. But when we dig into these solutions, the marketing material doesn’t match the research. “Futuristic” circular solutions—the kind built on recycled materials or future recyclability—are getting significant buzz, but they truly are of the future. Right now, there are actually no scalable solutions for turning most of our old clothes into new ones.
What’s more, focusing on this mythical future is a distraction from the very real present. Let’s talk about how the system of creation, distribution, and sale happens now, rather than wait for technology to (hopefully) make the big advances we’re counting on.
Surprising Side Effects of Not Drinking Alcohol, Say Experts
While speaking with experts, we discovered some of the most surprising side effects of not drinking alcohol.
To research my new book, Unraveled, I’ve spent the better part of two years traveling around the world to follow the journey of how our clothes are made. On cotton farms in western Texas, I witnessed chemically-ravaged soil pushed to the brink by a fashion industry with an insatiable desire for more. But I also met a farmer who’s merging traditional farming methods of the past—like crop rotation, which can improve—with cutting-edge technologies of the future, like an artificial intelligence tool that surgically applies herbicide to dramatically reduce his chemical use.
I followed a conventional cotton bale as it made its way from Texas to China, where most of the world’s textiles for our clothes are produced. There on the factory floor, I saw raw cotton being spun with polyester to createof fabric; our industry makes enough to wrap around the earth 1,219 times. I snuck to the back of those factories and gasped for air as fumes from the chemicals flowed directly into a river adjacent to the plant. I met Chinese citizens who could recall a time (just one generation ago) when their rivers were clear, full of fish, and clean enough to bathe in; now, they’re black and acrid, yet remain a water source for the farms that grow their produce.
These Are the People Making Photo Shoots Happen in the Time of COVID-19
Fashion's essential workers, here's how they stay motivated and get it done on set.To work in the fashion industry is — among a multitude of other things — to be continually looking at the future. What shoot will we do next? Who is the up-and-coming designer to know this year? What are the next fashion and beauty trends? We are always planning, always chasing the next opportunity, and always moving. When COVID-19 hit, the fashion industry was confronted with the uncertainty of the future.
After the fabric was finished, I went to Bangladesh to meet some of the women who turn it into clothing. One was Rima, a climate refugee whose story highlighted a tragic irony: Afterflooded her family’s farm, she was forced to relocate, only to find work in an industry that is contributing significantly to those climate disasters.
Then I made my way back to the U.S., where I met the people responsible for getting the clothes into our closets: the distribution center workers. We don’t tend to think of them as part of the industry, but they are an essential piece of the puzzle, and their way of working is fast becoming the norm. In massive warehouses, I saw women and men (most of them Black and brown) trapped in a cycle of low wages and demanding work hours, forced to operate like machines—and one day, they’ll likely be replaced by them.
That might seem like the last step, but as we know too well, our closets are rarely the final destination for clothing. So I made my way through the waste distribution and donation systems to find myself in Ghana, where black clouds and flames engulfed a landfill full of textiles and causedin the country’s recent history. Another tragic irony: That cancer and climate change-causing smoke cast a cloud over the very same port that transported people who were enslaved to America, where they picked the cotton that eventually began this never-ending fashion cycle.
Top court orders German govt to set post-2030 climate goals
Reacting to podcaster Joe Rogan’s advice to listeners that young, healthy people needn’t get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells TODAY “that’s incorrect … you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk” and “you might infect someone else.”
Make no mistake: This is the fashion industry today.
And after all of that, I love fashion. I love the power it has to project who I want to be in this world, and I have enormous respect and admiration for the creative community that puts their heart and soul, sweat, and tears into making things of beauty. I continue to page through Vogue, just as I did as a child, and let my mind wander through the worlds they create. But fashion must square itself with a planet and society at its breaking point, and it’s abundantly clear that brands’ current efforts and futuristic visions are wildly insufficient.
Now is the time for legislative solutions, to create the guardrails for a modern fashion industry that can thrive within human and planetary bounds; whether we like it or not, they are one and the same. We need legislation that creates a legal duty of care that extends to a company’s supply chain; that requires companies to operate those supply chains within the bounds of the Paris agreement (what are called Science Based Targets); and that requires companies to pay the workers who make our clothes a living wage.
This is the work we are spearheading at New Standard Institute. We invite lovers of fashion to join this conversation so that by next year, we won’t need to rely on CGI and far-out visions, but can instead celebrate the genuine progress we’re making today. Time is of the essence.
Designers commit to bringing New York Fashion Week back in a big way this fall .
New York Fashion Week, which will return with in-person runway shows, will culminate with the star-studded Met Gala in September.The Council of Fashion Designers of America, or CFDA, announced in April that New York Fashion Week is set to be held in-person with runway shows running from September 8 through September 12.