Weekend Reading: Anti_fashion


After listening to Li Edelkoort speak at the BoF Voices conference, I immediately ordered her Anti_Fashion manifesto. I have followed her trend forecasting career for years and have always had great admiration in the way she gathers, processes and presents information. This Anti_Fashion manifesto highlights ten reasons why the fashion system is obsolete. It was refreshing to hear from someone so influential in the fashion industry scold editors, schools and manufacturers on the way the industry is run. You will have to order your own copy to read about all ten reasons, but here are some of the highlights:

On Marketing: “Marketing has taken over power within the major companies and is manipulating creation, production, presentation and sales. All aspects are seen from just one perspective, which is how to produce better figures. Not to bring out a better product or to generate a better culture, let alone to stimulate a better human working environment.”

On Presentations in showrooms: “The clothes are rapidly shown by style and color so that the buyer is able to create his or her very own collection. All beige at Harrods, all navy at Dover Street, all bright at Barneys… difficult for the average consumer to even recognize the brand.”

On Advertising: “All pictures in all magazines, all the same…The same clothes, more or less, are used in the editorials that are heavily art directed by the economy of advertisements; a new brand has little to no chance to be featured. Halting the progress of the fashion economy that used to hunt for the new and exciting.”

On Retailing: “More than often one can overhear visitors to select department stores sigh that there is nothing to be found… the few thousand references patiently waiting on hangers apparently did not register anymore… Therefore we can conclude that too much merchandise is killing the taste of the consumer and that edited store environments such as Dover Street Market are able to reinvent and rekindle a multi-brand environment. Suddenly shopping becomes fun and entertaining again.”

More recommended reading:

George Monbiot // The Gift of Death

The Art of Simple // Add a Think Day to Your Schedule

Brain Pickings // Legendary Anthropologist Margaret Mead on Work, Leisure, and Creativity