During the first session of the Vogue Global Conversations series, the director of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, hosted the talks with Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Ize. The stylists, who are in different moments of their career – with Jacobs representing one of the big names in fashion since the 90s and Ize who just debuted at Paris Fashion Week – presented different ideas on creativity at the time of the emergency coronavirus and discussed how the sector can evolve after the epidemic.
Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Ize, Edward Enninful
“I work in a team and it is the daily interactions and life that stimulate and offer the catalytic action that allows me and my team to create the collections every season. We are not in an ideal situation for creativity, “says Jacobs. “The creative process does not take place under vacuum conditions or inside a bubble. It can be realized within the bubble of our fashion universe but it is the stimulus that comes from the whole world to act as a catalyst, to give us the push, the energy and the passion to create “.
The closure of activities and self-isolation are an important challenge for him in his way of collaborating with the team, in the research and development of fabrics that always takes place in Italy for him. “Until we find or invent a new way of working or until we give ourselves a new final goal to achieve, we have nothing to do,” he said, underlining precisely the importance of devising new methods of making design and producing fashion, and how he and his team are rethinking the structure in which they have operated in the past. “Probably continuing to refer to the past is not the best approach to create the future. I have the impression that what I do, that the clothes I make and the way I present a fashion show will probably no longer exist as we knew them. “
Also for Kenneth Ize, who produces a large part of her collection in collaboration with Nigerian weavers – her country of origin – continuing to be creative means finding new working methods. Recently, the designer created a new loom which he distributed to weavers in villages in Nigeria. “We thought of it so that we could send it to the homes of our weavers to continue their work from home,” explains Ize. “And we are evaluating how to benefit from the introduction of this loom within the weaving community. It was very exciting but also a great challenge. ” Due to the remote and distant places where some of its weavers are located, Ize communicates – and sometimes even does design – via WhatsApp. “It’s interesting!” she says, then adds, “We are thinking about how we can improve the community, how we can pass on information [utilizzando WhatsApp e i social media]. It is important for me to ensure that we pass on the information [alla nostra comunità]”.
Both designers agreed that the fashion shows should continue when things are back to normal, even if the format may be different from what we have experienced so far. “I think of the reality of a collection like that of autumn 2020, at the expense and cost of those garments, even for a production in small quantities. Those types of creations go beyond the moment of the show, it has more to do with the halo effect. It’s made to inspire, ”said Jacobs, explaining that his fall 2020 collection is not currently in production and that he and his teams have not yet started creating a collection for spring 2021.
“Fashion shows are very important. We have a great need of it, “added Ize, to then underline how bringing his clothes to Paris and being able to present them on the catwalk has given him visibility on new markets. “The fashion show has increased our sales … A show gives confidence to buyers and consumers, it is proof that the product is of quality and that the designer has good reasons to show”.
Having said that, however, Marc Jacobs believes that the calendar of the fashion shows could be changed to reflect a more thoughtful pace. “I think there should only be two fashion shows a year. What we do, the quantity of garments we produce and the number of times we walk the show: everything is excessive “.
But, in the end, the two designers agree that even in dark times creativity can be a beacon of hope. Ize tells us that he is using this period to rethink his digital strategy. “Everyone talks about how important it is to create content. Behind everything there is a story that deserves to be told. Creativity never stops. Absolutely. It needs to continue feeding. And you have to find a way to do it. I think the only way to go ahead is to continue creating content and use the spaces we have available to tell our stories. “
Jacobs agrees and adds “Creativity will never stop. It is absolutely essential. What would become of people during this quarantine if they didn’t have books to read and movies to watch? I don’t know what would become of me if I didn’t have nice clothes to wear every day. It is vital for me; it is as essential as anything else … Creativity will live forever. “
To participate in the next Vogue Global Conversations
Register here to The Future of Fashion Shows with Nicole Phelps from Vogue Runway, Cedric Charbit from Balenciaga, Olivier Rousteing from Balmain and Natacha Ramsay-Levi from Chloé – April 15 at 15
Here forThe Future of E-Commerce with Angelica Cheung of Vogue China, Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men, Stephanie Phair of Farfetch and The British Fashion Council, and Remo Ruffini of Moncler – April 16th at 3pm
Register here for The Future of Brick and Mortar with Emanuele Farneti of Vogue Italia is The Vogue Man, Vittorio Radice of La Rinascente, Pete Nordstrom of Nordstrom and Pierre-Yves Roussel of Tory Burch – April 17th at 3pm