This Is How We Create A New Vision For Fashion Retail

 
Images by Martine Jarlgaard London SS17

Images by Martine Jarlgaard London SS17

 


If you asked me what I strive for, I would answer: beauty. And with beauty, I don’t mean a set of standards and perfect proportions. With beauty, I mean the coming together of inspired creativity, innovation, skilful craftsmanship, integrity, commitment, and an open mind and heart. I find beauty in images, in music, in words, as well as in items of clothing, and I like to surround myself with what I find beautiful as it brings me in touch with the magical, mysterious and awe-inspiring experience that is life on our planet Earth.

I believe that real beauty has depth, it never exists on the surface level alone. And this is why I struggle with the state of the fashion industry and our current day consumer culture, and why it is important to me to make a difference: We are being overexposed to glossy imagery, to ever-changing trends and supposed objects of desire at an accelerated speed. But what is happening behind the façade, is being hidden away from us.

Dutch trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort raised a crucial question in her 2015 Anti-Fashion manifesto and industry wake-up call: “How can a product that needs to be sown, grown, harvested, combed, spun, knitted, cut and stitched, finished, printed, labelled, packaged and transported cost a couple of Euros?” 

And she concluded: “On the hunt for cheaper deals, volume companies, but also some luxury brands, have trusted the making of their wares to underpaid workers living in dire conditions. (…) What’s more, these prices imply the clothes are to be thrown away, discarded like a condom before being loved and savoured, teaching young consumers that fashion has no value.” We have come to a point where, following the words of New York Times fashion director Vanessa Friedman: “The driving force of fashion today is planned obsolescence – something is in, then it is out. Today fashion is disposable – and it is supposed to be.”

Instant gratification and low prices have developed into new virtues, promising a fulfilled life. But ever since Marie Kondo’s guide “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” has turned into a bestseller, we sense that there is no redemption in the accumulation of meaningless clutter. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a tragedy and it doesn’t make sense. We work hard for our money and we spend it on objects that spark joy for only a brief moment of time. We use up valuable resources for items that essentially have no value for us. And we empower companies that are not worthy of our support. 

I might be a bit of a romantic but I get infinite pleasure from engaging with fashion brands and designers who are passionate about making products that are special – from the making to the materials – and the antipode of disposable. I love to hear their stories that are never short of challenges. I love to discover what drives them and why they care so deeply about their craft that they are willing to ‘walk the road less travelled’. When I started Lissome, I was in the wonderful position to meet many of these “new pioneers of mindful fashion” in person and to share their stories. After a year of publishing, I felt the wish to also champion their wonderful products and to initiate an online store of a new kind: as an informed selection of unique, high-quality and fashion-forward items with an authentic story behind them. And this is why, as of today, I am excited to announce the launch of the Lissome online store, the first concept store exclusively dedicated to conscious fashion. 

When I decided to set up a store, I wanted it to follow my definition of beauty, and to be daring, committed and inspiring. I envision this new venture as a continuously transformative journey into retail innovation, and a way of sharing joy. My aim is to provide you with a unique shopping experience that is based on human and environmental wellbeing, informed by transparency and guided by outstanding design. It’s all about helping you to curate a wardrobe that reflects your values and makes you feel good, whilst empowering independent brands who care. 

Right from the start, the Lissome concept store will give you access to exclusive one-of-a-kind items, limited editions, and made to order designs alongside ready-to-wear items and selected vintage pieces. Initially, we will start with a small selection, and over the course of time, we will be gradually introducing new brands and products to our range and share their stories with you.

I would love to invite you to visit our new store and to join our bi-monthly newsletter to see this new chapter of Lissome unfold. And I would be thrilled if you could spread the word about Lissome to your family, friends and other kindred spirits!

The Future Of Fashion Is Mindful.