As human beings we are curious creatures, however as soon as I have said that I would also say we are comfortable and bound to routine and “tradition” and often fear change, yet we all change constantly even if it’s not imminently visible. I personally have changed over the past few years, my habits have changed, and some may call my new way of life extreme. You can become an extremist and be in constant fear and anger, or you can live as true as possible to your believes, never stop asking questions and trying to find the optimal solution and do something about it.
How can I be in fashion as a vegan if I don’t use leather, wool, silk or fur? I can be in fashion because although I do not stand for any usage of animal fiber or skin, I am still an admirer of the arts and craft of the fashion industry. All I can do is change what is in my control, I can change my eating habits, my shopping habits and my attitude towards any of these subjects. I can admire fashion designers who use all those products for their talents and their ideas, creativity and entrepreneurship, they don’t change me as a person and they won’t change my values. I don’t support the usage of those materials but I support the art, and my job is to let the art inspire me in finding ways to show that other materials can be transformed into the same art form without the usage of traditional materials that come with a huge amount of untold and unseen stories.
A recent saying by actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o: “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.”
I want to apply this to the fashion industry, all these beautiful gowns we admire, all the fur jackets that are stunningly in their natural colours and patterns, all the leather accessories and shoes, which bring companies so much profit and us so much luxury, while we forget how much pain it caused someone else.
Movies, documentaries and pictures are created in order to portray someone’s story, to educate and prevent these events from happening again. We have to be a voice for injustice by creating such material and making them publicly available.
I try to be true to what I, as a person and as a fashion designer, stand for. If I can dream, learn, educate, transform and create, I have a chance to show my vision.
It’s not up to me to lecture other people about their habits or preferences, it is up to me to change mine and create something of my own, therefore facilitating people who are looking for change. As a designer with such core values it is my decision to create beauty and art to showcase an alternative solution.