We are living through emotionally charged and surreal times. Times of an impossible war against democracy, of pandemic, of climate disruption. When such incursions are the new normal, it is easy to think that fashion – style, colour, shape, form – are futile exercises, frivolous and artificial as they are often perceived.
We beg to differ. Our FW22 collection took one its inspirations, for example, from beads used by Caribbean girls for hairstyling. Hair- and hairstyling has been a central element in black culture from times immemorial. Generations of women flocked to their hair, after being enslaved and taken from Africa to the other side of the Atlantic, as an inalienable last instrument for expressing culture, pride, and self-awareness.
Indeed, their culture has time and again shown incredible ingenuity toward empowerment and joy under the most impossible of circumstances. Carnival is undoubtedly one of its yearly peaks, when waves of colour and abundance flow over a fundament of daily blues and poverty. Sugary pink, fluorescent blue and apple green – from New Orleans to Portau-Prince, from Puerto Rico to Martinique, from Curaçao to Havana or Kingston. This is lavish, excessive even, but anything but frivolous. It is an existential means for survival.
Today, we believe that such inventions, or rather such inventiveness, is more relevant than ever before. In our disturbing times, it could provide the world some basic coordinates for reimagining a future together. Living by the power of an abundant style, that gives a voice to the voiceless, that does not hold back, that no matter what the circumstances may be, provides a means of expression through independent style – against all odds.
And yes, it is exactly along such lines that we stand today overwhelmed with compassion and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, fighting today at the forefront for what we all believe in.