Fashion doubles its sanctions against Russia at the end of Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week has long held the status of the most traditional Fashion week. But this season, even the most traditional week has shown signs of change with bold calls for Ukraine’s support on and off the catwalks, including through the Balenciaga show and charity fundraising. He also leveraged innovative metaverse strategies by integrating digital design and NFTs.
The launch of the Fall 2022 season at Paris Fashion Week began with the IFM Masters Graduate Show where 13 students integrated the digital accessories they designed, showing them on a digital catwalk next to digitized versions of their physical parts. This was made possible through a collaboration with metaverse developer Stage11. Digital design, which has swept the catwalks from New York to London, has so far not been embraced by the cohort of young fashion designers, such as students coming out of Central Saint Martins in London, while others Topics like sustainability feature prominently. In the IFM lounge, accessories have been seamlessly integrated into high-end designs.
Other designers have also incorporated NFTs, including the subversive New York brand Vaquera. It has partnered with carbon-neutral social marketplace Bubblehouse, which runs on the Polygon blockchain. Speaking about the collaboration, Bubblehouse Business Development Manager Thibault Binier said there is still more to come. “We will make membership [via the NFTs],” he said. “Vaquera is going to be able to provide access to future shows, pre-sale access and exclusive pieces. As the brand grows and there are more and more collections, the value of that membership will grow. It’s a way for people to invest in the brand.
The exhibition of IFM graduates also gave a lasting impression of how future designers might think about their collection. “This collaboration with Stage11 is quite new, unique and very relevant today, as the metaverse and digital designs are part of the future of fashion. It was a very stimulating experience for our students and our faculty,” said Xavier Romatet, Dean of the IFM, in a press release. Olivier Ozoux, Stage11’s chief technology officer who mentored the students, also sees it as the start of a frictionless digital experience of the future, where students will design digital and physical wearables. He said: “Many of the students involved have asked what digital fashion means, in relation to the physical world and its real issues, such as sustainability, equity and ethical issues.”
Ethics were at the heart of PFW shows, amid the war in Ukraine and the growing list of brands leaving Russia, including French conglomerates LMVH and Richemont. The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has requested in a press Release earlier in the week that attendees experience the shows “with solemnity and in reflection of those dark hours.” Designers like Isabel Marant have been keen to draw attention to fundraising for Ukrainian refugees. For her part, Marant showed up at the end of her show in a sweater in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. In an Instagram Publishshe revealed that the Isabel Marant Endowment Fund will donate to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF to “support and [show] solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
The most notable design homage to the war in Ukraine was Demna Gvasalia’s collection for Balenciaga. The designer presented looks including leather trash bags, a coat in EPHEUS biomaterials and two distinct looks combining the colors of the Ukrainian flag, worn by models riding through a blizzard on a circular wind tunnel catwalk. The Gvasalia Show Remarks recalled his time in Georgia when, at age 12, he and his family were among 250,000 Georgians forced from their homes during the country’s civil war.
“The The war in Ukraine triggered the pain of a past trauma that I have carried with me since 1993, when the same thing happened in my home country,” Gvasalia wrote. The only PFW designer to directly reference the war in a collection, Gvasalia also wrote that “fashion week feels like a kind of absurdity” and that canceling the show would have meant “surrendering to the evil that has already hurt so much”. for nearly 30 years. »
Along with all of the fashion weeks, the events surrounding them are also key to the industry conversation. Ukrainian designer Lilia Litkovskaya, a strong advocate of Ukrainian fashion and who started a fashion school in Kiev, aimed to raise awareness of the war and build support among locals at the Tranoi show in Paris. Litkovskaya fled to Poland at the end of February. Meanwhile, Ukrainian market NFT The FRNTAL called out the fashion community via an Instagram Publish yesterday to help using the #UnchainUkraine hashtag on social networks. Additionally, influencers and artists have contributed their NFT art to fund humanitarian causes through FRNTAL. The project is launched after the end of PFW.